A MAN with cancer who is on an ambitious mission to climb 1,000 mountains with his dog, will soon compete in the London Marathon.

Jo White, 58, from Salisbury is an adventure training instructor who has been on a challenge to climb 1,000 mountains with his dog, Bear.

He is now preparing to run the TCS London Marathon after receiving revolutionary treatment for a rare cancer.

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Mr White survived bowel cancer in 2012 but was then diagnosed with a gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) tumour attached to his aorta behind his bladder, which spread to his liver.

GIST is a type of sarcoma cancer, and there are an average of 795 cases diagnosed every year in England.

Salisbury Journal:  A photo of Jo with Bear A photo of Jo with Bear (Image: Sarcoma UK)

With surgery not an option due to the risks, Jo has been receiving a revolutionary form of radiotherapy called SABR which stands for Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy.

It delivers precisely targeted radiation beams in fewer high-dose treatments compared to traditional radiation therapy. SABR allows for higher doses of radiation to be given safely to the tumour while minimising radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.

He is also receiving chemotherapy and expects to continue to do so for the rest of his life.

Despite his illness, Jo is incredibly active. A keen climber, in March 2022 he began a challenge to climb 1,000 mountains mainly in the UK with his dog, Bear.

For the purposes of the challenge, a mountain is defined as 600m in elevation and Jo has completed 47 so far, sometimes taking groups with him.

Speaking about the challenge, he said: "I want to create awareness that exercise in the great outdoors will massively help you fight things that life chucks in your way. Anything in life is possible both physically and mentally.

"You have just got to keep going for as long as you can, while you can. The UK is blessed with a fantastic landscape, far more than most of us take for granted.

"I want to encourage people to fight for a cause close to their heart and to put back something for all the great doctors, nurses and medical professionals that have kept me alive."

Both the marathon run and the mountain climbing adventures are in aid of cancer charity Sarcoma UK.

Jo said: "Sarcoma UK is a small and relatively unknown cancer charity who do great work not just in research but the support of sarcoma cancer patients in the UK."

Sarcoma UK’s director of fundraising and communications, Kerry Reeves-Kneip, said: "Jo is a remarkable man who has shown he will not be held back by sarcoma.

"We are so grateful to people like Jo whose fundraising helps us fund more vital research into sarcoma, to support anyone affected by sarcoma, and to campaign for better treatments."

Jo will be running the marathon with his son Josh and friends and he aims to finish the race in 6.5 hours.

You can donate to him at: justgiving.com/team/1000mountains