MODEST fundraiser Tony Larkin is in the running for a trophy - five years after winning the biggest battle of his life.
The Hartlepool 50-year-old was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2009. Yet almost as soon as he got the all-clear, he was putting all his efforts into fundraising to help others.
Now, he runs the MusicvCancer (MvC) charity which he set up in 2010, as well as a second cause called Support Your Bowel.
And when all his efforts are combined, he has raised £131,500.
His efforts have not gone unnoticed. One colleague contacted the Hartlepool Mail to nominate Tony for the fundraiser of the year section of the Pride of Hartlepool awards.
One friend, Angela Lee who fundraises for MvC, told us: “Tony appears to have transformed his brush with cancer as a fuel to make a difference. He and his family relentlessly spend hours arranging, liaising and organising events and always keep smiling. He personally speaks openly about his experiences and encourages others to act quickly.”
But Tony told us: “It is nice to be nominated and recognised for the work that we do, but it is not what we do it for.
“It is about trying to raise money for the causes that we support.”
Ever since, MusicvCancer was formed, it has supported local NHS cancer services. It has already paid for an ultrasound machine designed to detect the early signs of bowel cancer which is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK.
But just as importantly, it has raised awareness of the disease.
Tony added: “It is really good of someone to nominate me.”
We are calling on our readers to nominate that special person or people who have done something that you believe deserves recognition.
It could be anyone from 999 heroes to community champions – help us celebrate those who have done their town proud.
You have until early March to put forward your favourites and we want to make this a record year for entry numbers – but the only way we can do that is with your help.
So come on.
Make a start on filling in the nomination form in the Hartlepool Mail today, or visit www.hartlepool.mail.co.uk and complete the online entry form.