A FATHER of four from Carlisle has been hit with a devastating cancer diagnosis.

Alistair Richardson had been suffering from back pain - and after going back and forth to hospital, he was eventually told he had incurable lung cancer that had spread to his spine.

It came as a huge shock to the family - the 59-year-old had been running marathons just 12 months previously, and was considered fit and healthy.

His wife, Judith, said: "It was awful, really awful. We've been married 28 years, he's just a good Dad and husband. He loves life.

"He's doing alright, he's coping well. He's had four bouts of chemotherapy and he's doing okay.

"We have good days and bad days. It's hard at the moment,

"He was running marathons this time last year, but it started with a pain in his back last April. He went for a scan in July, but they thought it was just a slipped disc.

"But then he was struggling to go to the toilet by himself, we thought there was something more."

Alistair returned to hospital in December, and his cancer that had previously been missed was found.

He was told that he could not be cured, and is now receiving treatment.

Judith added: "The hospital staff have been brilliant since. Luckily they found it when they did."

Following her husband's diagnosis, he received help and support from Cancer Research.

Judith became determined to give something back to the charity. She and her friends Tracey Parker, Rebecca Armstrong, and Joanne Moffat took part in the walking all over cancer appeal throughout March, and have raised more than £3,500 at the time of writing.

Judith continued: "We're raising money for Cancer Research. We had to do 10,000 steps a day throughout March. I did about 15,000 a day, but some of the others did between 20,000 and 30,000!

"We've just been walking wherever. I decided to do it and my friends said they would do it with me.We've raised £3,500 which is lovely."

Donations can be made at fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/team/judiths-team-17