An inspirational cancer survivor from Southfields is challenging himself to complete the London marathon to raise money for a children's charity.

Charlie Degale, 52, is attempting 26 miles in the Virgin London Marathon, on Sunday, April 22 to raise money for Children with Cancer UK.

He took the decision to embark on the challenge whilst undergoing a gruelling eight months of chemotherapy treatment for lung cancer.

Charlie, who’s been a physical instructor for the Metropolitan police for more than 14 years, said: "Every step forward I take is a step closer to beating cancer."

Charlie’s cancer was discovered thanks to tests before his planned hip replacement. His blood test results came back abnormal, so St George’s Hospital, Tooting continued investigations and in his second biopsy it was discovered that he had germ cell tumour in his lung.

The hospital gave him chemotherapy dates however, further tests in September 2016 revealed that the cancer was spreading, so Charlie was called into Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith for urgent chemotherapy.

The treatment thankfully worked and he had an operation on February 14, 2017 to remove the tumour, which was successful.

He was given the all clear from cancer in August 2017, allowing him to have his hip replacement later that month.

Charlie, who coaches children’s football at Carshalton Athletic and Stanley Park Junior School, was determined for something good to come out of his bad experience.

He found chemotherapy treatment so tough and thought to himself ‘If I am an adult going through this, how must a child having chemotherapy be feeling, inspiring him to raise money for Children with Cancer UK, which raises money to help treat children with cancer.

Charlie began his fundraising in December 2017. His nephew Kai, who plays the flute at Saint Cecilia’s School in Southfields, Wandsworth, played Christmas carols outside South Kensington tube station, to raise £200 for Charlie's appeal. Football supporters at Carshalton Athletics’ match against Sutton United donated around £350 to his campaign on a Boxing Day match and a fundraising day at Charlie's work raised £600. He also taught Saturday circuit classes in Epsom raising £200.

All of the fundraising has allowed him to raise a total of £2,500, beating his initial target of £2,000.

And Charlie has been training hard in the build up to the marathon, running on the treadmill and around local parks every other day.

Children with Cancer UK have been supportive of Charlie’s efforts and have held meetings with all people running on their behalf in the marathon as well as providing him with balloons and posters.

Children with Cancer UK said: “We’re delighted that Charlie is running the London Marathon for Children with Cancer UK. We wish Charlie and all our marathon runners the very best of luck as they take on such an incredible challenge. Through Charlie’s support, Children with Cancer UK can continue to invest in cutting-edge new treatments like precision medicine that help to improve survival rates and offer kinder, less toxic treatment for young cancer patients – saving lives and keeping families together.”

To sponsor Charlie visit his just giving page: