Cancer survivor set for tall order to raise charity cash

Chris Miller with Olympic sprinter Dwain Chambers
Chris Miller with Olympic sprinter Dwain Chambers
Centre Parcs Longleat. Picture: Google Maps

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A cancer survivor from Portsmouth is beginning his preparation to climb Ben Nevis for charity this summer.

Chris Miller, 52, is climbing the UK’s highest peak in an attempt to raise money for breast cancer charity, CoppaFeel!

He has been fundraising for the organisation for the past few months, completing the London Winter Run in January.

He has also set his eyes on next month’s Royal Windsor half marathon, the Dorset Marathon in July, the Great South Run in October, and the Portsmouth Waterside Marathon in December.

The jewel in the crown, however, is the attempt to climb Ben Nevis in Scotland, scheduled for June.

‘I wanted to do something that would really stand out,’ said Chris. ‘Originally I thought about Everest but it takes over a month and I couldn’t commit the time.

‘I looked nearer home, in this country, and Ben Nevis stood out. It’s the highest peak in the UK and I’d love to plant a CoppaFeel! flag at the top of it. I have been through cancer on this journey and I have come out the other side.

‘I want to inspire people to be healthier and show them that they can do the same.’

Chris was diagnosed in 2008, and what he saw while receiving treatment inspired him to take on this feat.

‘It was testicular cancer,’ he said. ‘I was diagnosed in 2008 but they realised I had been suffering with it for about 15 months without realising.

‘Within two weeks I was being operated on.

‘They took me to Southampton to have my chemotherapy treatment.

‘When I was there I saw just how many people it affected, and what particularly got me was the number of young people and little children in there.

‘I said to myself: “As soon as I get the all clear from this I am going to change my life and I’m going to help others be healthier and live their lives”.’

Chris did just that, and after receiving the all-clear in 2014 became a personal trainer, working with the like of Olympic sprinter, Dwain Chambers.

Now working at Fit4Less gym in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, Chris has passed the qualifications that allow him to work with referrals from GPs, enabling him to continue to improve peoples lives.

‘I have dealt with stroke victims, people suffering with depression and anxiety, and people struggling with obesity,’ said Chris.

‘It is great training with and helping those people who ordinarily are lacking the self confidence to come to a gym.

‘The stroke victim I was training was paralysed on the left side of their body, but over time they were able to get some movement back, just small twitches.

‘Seeing that movement made everything more worthwhile.’

If you would like to donate to Chris for his Ben Nevis attempt visit: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/donate/makeDonationForFundraiserDisplay.action?fundraiserActivityId=641266