Walking in memory of Richard

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Twelve former Sheffield University students will set off on a 24 hour walk on the anniversary of the death of one of their colleagues.

Their 65-mile route will take them from a tree planted in Weston Park in memory of Richard Povey, who died of testicular cancer two weeks before his 22nd birthday, to his family home in Tarporley, Cheshire. They will raise money for the teenage cancer unit at Weston Park Hospital where he was cared for.

“Richard was incredibly brave and never complained, despite all that he endured,” said his mum, Anne.

“He remained positive and determined to do as much as he could with his friends and family whenever he was able, which is why we kept his treatment in Sheffield, so he could stay in his student house when possible with his friends, rather than bringing him back to Cheshire.”

Richard was in the third year of a four year masters degree in mechanical engineering when, after constant abdominal pain, a scan in November 2011 revealed testicular cancer, which turned out to be a rare and aggressive form called choriocarcinoma. It spread to his abdomen, lungs and brain.

He had chemotherapy and three major operations to remove tumours from his abdomen, lung and spine. The illness lasted 18 months, to his death on June 13, 2013.

The University awarded him a posthumous first class honours degree based on previous exam results in a private ceremony attended by his friends, many of whom will be on the walk on the weekend of June 14.

Richard loved Sheffield and had just come back from an inter-rail holiday with university friends with “the world at his feet” when he fell ill, said Anne. The Weston Park unit was “amazing”, and had “made a terrible experience just that bit better”, helping him and his family, she added.

“The staff are so caring - even down to the lady who brings round the meals - and they all loved Richard for his strength and quiet determination, showing a maturity way beyond his years. Richard’s oncologist, Dr Linda Evans, also went the extra mile to help Richard in any way she could and to investigate any treatments that could help him.”