Politician Jeremy Hunt will take part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life this summer, in support of the new Cancer and Surgical Innovation Centre at the Royal Surrey.

The MP for South West Surrey will join thousands of other runners, joggers and walkers in Stoke Park, Guildford, on July 24.

The former Health Secretary and currently Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, will be joined by cancer survivor Rod Pluthero from Haslemere, and Conservative Angela Richardson, MP for Guildford.

The trio got in some practice for the 5k event at the Devil’s Punch Bowl. And during the session Mr Hunt revealed he has compelling reasons for supporting the cause.

He said:

Every member of my family has had cancer. Even I have had a minor one myself which has fortunately been resolved. Cancer has touched my family very dramatically and I know it has touched many other families too. My work on the Select Committee has shown me there are lot of things we can do to improve out cancer survival rates. They are getting better but the more we can do to raise money and awareness, the more lives we can save.

Mr Hunt, Ms Richardson and Mr Pluthero, are supporting a campaign to establish the Cancer and Surgical Innovation Centre at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford. Mr Hunt launched a multi-million pound appeal to establish the centre last year. 

He said: “We’re taking part in Race for Life because it’s vital that the life-saving research Cancer Research UK carries out continues.

“It also perfectly complements what we are trying to achieve at the Royal Surrey – a state-of-the-art surgical facility which will deliver world-class surgery and peri-operative care.”

Ms Richardson said: “There will be few of us who have been untouched by cancer - with one in two people now developing it at some stage of our lives, research into successful treatments and prevention of the disease is an overwhelming health priority.

"Jeremy has been an advocate and champion of cancer research, advanced treatments and better patient experiences for many years. It's my pleasure to be able to join him at the Race for Life and for us to be taking forward this campaign together to allow the best possible outcomes for cancer patients in the future."

Mr Pluthero, 73, was successfully treated for cancer of the tongue in 2016 and again in 2018. But in 2020 he was given the devastating news he had squamous cell carcinoma in his lower right jaw. In a ten-and-a-half hour operation, surgeons removed part of his jaw and replaced it with bone from his fibula and saved his life.

He said: “We are all passionate about improving life for cancer patients from the moment they are diagnosed, right through any treatment they may need. We want to improve every aspect of that, developing better and kinder treatments and achieving better outcomes."

Every year around 55,800 people are diagnosed with cancer in the South East and one in two people in the UK born after 1960 will get cancer in their lifetime, according to Cancer Research UK.

To support Jeremy, Angela and Rod, visit their JustGiving page.

Donate here >