A THREE-time cancer survivor will complete a gruelling team relay single-handedly to raise funds for Cancer Research UK this summer.

Bob Smith, of Ferndown, plans to walk for 24 hours during the Bournemouth and East Dorset Relay for Life, which takes place at the Ferndown Leisure Centre on July 12 and 13.

The event usually sees teams of between eight and 15 people taking it in turns to walk around a track over the course of a full day and night.

It is just the latest fundraising challenge for the 61-year-old, who has also completed a 15,000ft sky dive and the Three Peaks Challenge for charity.

The retired IT project manager said: “Having beaten cancer not once, but three times and being clear for three years now, I am determined to show people that this disease should not define you as a person.

“I took on the Three Peaks Challenge last year with my two sons and was looking for something new to do this year which would raise money and awareness.

“Relay For Life is a brilliant cause and I decided to step the challenge up a bit by doing it alone. Twenty-four hours of walking will be tough, but more than worth it to show people that there truly is life after cancer.”

Bob was first diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma – a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma – in 2007.

Although he underwent a course of chemotherapy, the cancer returned in 2010, and Bob was then diagnosed with a different type of lymphoma.

However, Bob has now been cancer free for three years, and spends much of his time volunteering to support those suffering with the illness.

He said: “Raising money for research into cancer is an investment in our future – after all, one in three of us will be affected by the disease at some point in our lives.

“I am keen to do what I can to ensure that more lives are saved in the future. Research into the causes and treatment of cancer is absolutely critical to us beating this disease. I am proof that cancer is no longer the death sentence it once was and life can go on.”

For more information, visit cruk.org/relay