East Finchley cancer patient to swim Serpentine lake for The Royal Marsden
PUBLISHED: 08:17 11 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:50 14 August 2017
A father-of-two with advanced lung cancer is set to swim the Serpentine lake to raise money for the hospital treating him.
Mike Solomon was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in March last year and underwent major surgery before being transferred to The Royal Marsden for chemotherapy.
The 50-year-old has now signed up to Swim Serpentine – a one mile open water swim in Hyde Park on Saturday, September 16 – to raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
“When I got told I had cancer I thought ‘What can I do?’ because there was so much that was out of my control. I looked at changing my diet and doing more exercise to keep my lungs in good shape,” Mr Solomon, from East Finchley, said.
“I’ve always enjoyed swimming but open water is completely different to being in a pool. You can’t see where you’re going and it’s freezing. I’m a bit nervous, but I’m also looking forward to it,” said Mr Solomon, who has already completed a triathlon along with his brothers since his lung cancer was first diagnosed.
Mr Solomon’s wife Hilary said: “Although I think Mike is nuts for signing up to swim the Serpentine, I’m incredibly proud.
“He’s a very brave man and has a steely determination, I’m very lucky to be married to him.
“We are very grateful to The Royal Marsden for the treatment he is getting,” she added.
A biopsy of Mike’s tumour revealed that his cancer had a genetic mutation. By matching the mutation to a combination of therapies doctors were able to offer personalised treatment.
When the drug stopped working in May 2017 analysis of the tumour showed a new mutation, doctors were able to deliver a different, personalised therapy.
Mr Solomon said: “I’m benefitting from research that has been done in the past into these genetic mutations so I want to do whatever I can to support future research.
“The treatment is fantastic because it means I can lead as ordinary a life as possible.
“I’m living with this disease but I can do most things and the side effects are manageable,” he said.
Mr Solomon is now aiming to raise money to support the specialist The Royal Marsden’s nurses, doctors and research teams provide care and develop life-saving treatments.
Consultant medical oncologist at The Royal Marsden Dr Sanjay Popat said: “I’m really delighted Mike is fundraising to support our research. There have been huge advances in the treatment of lung cancer in recent years and this has only been made possible through research efforts. I am really proud of him.”
Community fundraising executive for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity Tammy Savill said: “We are incredibly grateful to Mike for his fundraising and are in awe of what he is doing. We all wish him the best of luck with his challenge.”
To support Mike realise his ambition to raise a total of £4,000 visit justgiving.com