Joe’s chance to reflect on story and encourage more to join up - The Evesham Observer

Joe’s chance to reflect on story and encourage more to join up

Evesham Editorial 10th Apr, 2023   0

FORMER Worcester Warriors star Joe Batley is aiming high this month to celebrate being five years ‘all clear’ from cancer.

Back in March 2018 at the age of 21, Joe recalls the hardest thing he had to do was tell his mum he had just been diagnosed with cancer and worried his rugby career may be over.

Despite being a fit and young athlete, his immune system was under attack from Hodgkin Lymphoma – a cancer which affects more than 2,000 people a year in the UK.

Now the 6ft 7ins flanker has much to celebrate five years on – playing again for the Bristol Bears after the collapse of Worcester Warriors, he now has a son – Wilfred who is 18-months old. He says life is good and he is thankful to all those who helped him on his journey.

Joe took time out of his training to help support Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life events which take place this summer and he is encouraging everyone to get involved to fund crucial research into the disease.

“Life has changed dramatically for me, from being a 21-year-old and being diagnosed with cancer to a 26-year-old and now a father, which is the best thing ever,” he said.

“Obviously when I was first diagnosed it was up in the air as to whether the treatment would make me infertile, so the fact that I am now a dad is unbelievable and is always something I always dreamed of, so that has been amazing.”

“A lot has changed in five years, and it feels surreal, but at the same time I can’t remember too much what was going on at the time. I remember the feelings and how ill I got during the chemo, but life is good now, it’s really good.”

“Having gone through fertility treatment before being treated for cancer, we were over the moon to find out that we could conceive naturally and being a dad to Wilfred is amazing.”

Worcester’s Pretty Muddy Race for Life event takes place on Saturday, July 8 while the 3k, 5k and 10k events take place on Sunday, July 9. The events are open to everyone and include a separate muddy obstacle course for children aged 12 and under who are at least 1.2m tall.

Money raised at Race for Life enables scientists to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer - helping to save more lives.

Cancer Research UK’s West Midlands spokesperson, Paula Young, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Joe for his support.

“We’d love for as many people as possible across the region to join us during our 30th year of Race for Life. Sadly, cancer affects all of us in some way.

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