Codnor teen takes on Wild Warrior run for charity after beating cancer

Codnor student Sam Varnam, 17, is running the Wild Warrior obstacle course this weekend to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust, which helped him and his family through treatment last year.
Codnor student Sam Varnam, 17, is running the Wild Warrior obstacle course this weekend to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust, which helped him and his family through treatment last year.

A Codnor teenager is taking on a 10-km obstacle course this month to raise funds for the charity which helped him through cancer treatment.

Sam Varnam, 17, will run in the Wild Warrior event near Brailsford on Saturday, September 22, in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Sam received NHS treatment at the Teenage Cancer Trust unit in Nottingham before being flown to a specialist clinic in Florida.

Sam received NHS treatment at the Teenage Cancer Trust unit in Nottingham before being flown to a specialist clinic in Florida.

It will mark the latest step in his recovery from olfactory neuroblastoma—a cancer of the nasal cavity—which was diagnosed in February 2017.

Now in remission, Sam said: “Before I was diagnosed I was an outgoing, active sporty person and now I have finished my treatment I have reprised that role.

“I’ve always wanted to run an obstacle course, and after this shock to the system I have finally decided to do it.”

He added: “It’s a brilliant opportunity to help give back to the charity that helped me out so much, so they can give the attention and care they gave me to every other teenager with cancer in the UK.”

Sam at his school prom last summer after undergoing chemotherapy while studying for his GCSEs.

Sam at his school prom last summer after undergoing chemotherapy while studying for his GCSEs.

Sam spent most of last year in hospital for chemotherapy and surgery before flying to Florida for proton beam therapy, all while doing his GCSEs at Heanor Gate Science College.

Now working towards A-levels in media and psychology, Sam said: “It was a tough time for my whole family. We were worried, scared and didn’t know where to go when I was first diagnosed.

“Then a friendly face approached us, a Teenage Cancer Trust support worker called Bex. She eased us into the whole process, calmed us down and made the hospital feel more like home.”

During his treatment, Sam benefitted from the charity’s unit at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.

He said: “If ever I was feeling down, worried or just a bit bored Bex was there to keep me going, and they also provide things to help you relax like games consoles, televisions, and a pool table. It really helped with the situation.”

Sam will be joined on the course by a team of mum Rita’s colleagues from the East Midlands Ambulance Trust and Impact Physio in Long Eaton supporting Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

n To sponsor them, go to https://goo.gl/Zw9GSu.