A Ballymoney father, who is taking part in Cancer Research UK Race for Life to celebrate being five years in the clear from the disease, is celebrating the birth of his son who was born on the same day as the new Royal baby.
Cooper Jaxon Humphreys weighed in at 7lb 12oz at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine at 9.30pm on Monday May 6, to proud parents Danielle and Rob Humphreys, just hours after the newest addition to the royal family, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, was welcomed into the world.
While Cooper isn’t likely to be surrounded by paparazzi every time he leaves the house, his four big brothers Alfie, nine, Reuben, eight, three-year old Jacob and two-year-old Carter will certainly be on hand to protect him as he grows up.
What makes his birth even more remarkable is that back in 2013, Rob was diagnosed with stage 4 testicular cancer which had spread to his stomach, chest and lungs. The couple were advised that the cancer treatment may mean that they might not be able to have any more children naturally.
Thankfully Rob underwent successful treatment and in December received the five year all clear from cancer. Now Rob, Alfie and Reuben are gearing up to take part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life at Stormont Estate in Belfast next Sunday, May 26, to raise funds for life-saving cancer research.
Rob said: “We are so thrilled to have baby Cooper here and his big brothers haven’t wanted leave his side since he’s come home from hospital!
“We feel very blessed to have five healthy boys, three of them born following my cancer diagnosis and treatment, and a five-a-side football team is certainly looking likely in our house!”
Rob was all set to run the Belfast marathon this year but due to a combination of a chest infection and the baby’s arrival looking imminent he has rescheduled to do the Walled City Marathon on June 2, two weeks after completing the 5k Race for Life event with his two oldest boys.
Rob is a keen fundraiser for Cancer Research UK and has raised around £7,000 for the charity through various sporting challenges since his cancer diagnosis – money which goes to fund lifesaving research.
He said: “Alfie, Reuben and I are so excited about doing the 5k Race for Life event at Stormont Estate. It’s the first time that men can take part in the event so it’s great to be a part of it as I’ve heard it is such an uplifting event. The boys have seen me raise funds for Cancer Research UK before through various challenges but this is the first time they have actually taken part themselves.
“I’m very fortunate to be in good health to enjoy spending time with my family and taking part in these events and I know that for others sadly the reality is much less positive.
“My experience means I understand all too clearly why Cancer Research UK’s work is so important, so now I want to do everything I can to raise awareness of the power of research in beating the disease.
“There’s still time for others to join me us by signing up for Race for Life on May 26 at www.raceforlife.org.”
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research. Thousands of people will descend on Stormont Estate to take part in the 5k and 10k events on Sunday May 26 while on Saturday September 7 Pretty Muddy runs in Ormeau Park in Belfast.
Frances Kippax-Geary, Cancer Research UK’s Northern Ireland events manager, said: “Our Race for Life events are fun, colourful, emotional and uplifting. They help people with cancer by raising money for research, including clinical trials which give patients in Northern Ireland access to the latest treatments.
“You don’t have to be sporty to take part. You don’t need to train or compete against anyone else. All you need to do is go to the Race for Life website, pick an event, sign up and then have fun raising money in whatever way you like.
“Taking part in our Race for Life events enables like-minded people to get together and remember loved ones lost to cancer or celebrate the lives of those who have survived. At the same time, they are helping to make a difference to people with cancer, right now.”
Frances added: “Our Race for Life events have been women-only since they started over 25 years ago. But we now feel the time is right to open them up so that everyone - women, men and children – has the chance to participate together.
“Around one person in Northern Ireland is diagnosed with cancer every hour. Sadly, this means nearly everyone is touched by the disease, either directly or through a loved one or friend.
“To make a significant difference in the fight against cancer we need to harness as much energy and commitment as possible – so what better way than involving everyone in the community in our events.”
Thanks to everyone who raises money, Cancer Research UK is able to fund research to fight 200 types of cancer. The good news is more people are surviving the disease than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.
To enter Race for Life today visit raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.