Sandwell nurse Nicky will put best foot forward in memory of husband
A Black Country nurse whose childhood sweetheart was diagnosed with incurable cancer just two years after they got married is to lead Birmingham’s Shine Night Walk in his memory.
Nicky Lee will join over 1,000 fundraisers on the illuminated 10k city walk to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Her husband Gary Lee from Oldbury was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2021, just two years after he and Nicky tied the knot in a beach ceremony during a dream trip to Thailand. The avid West Brom fan died in August last year, leaving two children and two step children.
Now Nicky and her family are urging others to join them and hundreds of others as the sun goes down on Centenary Square on the night of Saturday September 16.
As well as raising funds for research, Nicky is on a mission to raise awareness of prostate cancer, particularly among black men who have a significantly increased risk of developing the disease. Prostate cancer affects one in eight men in the UK, but that figure rises to one in four among black men of African heritage.
She said: "Gary had no symptoms other than a bad back which we thought was a slipped disc, so the diagnosis was a huge shock.
“He was absolutely dumbfounded. We never imagined it would be prostate cancer. He was 54 and had worked as an electrician for over 20 years so we just thought his bad back was due to wear and tear.
“Had I known about his increased risk of prostate cancer I would have got him tested earlier. He was my whole world, he was so positive, and he never had a day of sick in his life.
" Now I’m determined to make other people aware because just a little bit of knowledge and a simple test could potentially save a life.
"Even though I’ve been a nurse for a long time, I wasn’t aware that you can have prostate cancer without any of the classic symptoms and I had no idea that his ethnicity put him at increased risk. That’s why I want to do everything I can to raise awareness as well as funds for more research."
Nicky, a clinical nurse specialist at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, will be joined by her daughter Eve and Gary’s daughter Demi as they set off from a Centenary Square covered in lights along with more than 1,000 other people.
Participants can choose to raise money for the area of research closest to their hearts – including prostate cancer, breast cancer, bowel cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, brain tumours, children’s cancers and leukaemia or they can simply give their backing to Cancer Research UK’s overall work.
For more details on the event, or to sign up, go to www.shinewalk.org