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He was told he had just days to live but 13 years on, grandad is a big-hearted fundraiser.

Byline: Ruth Mosalski Reporter ruth.mosalski@walesonline.co.uk

IT WAS on his birthday in 2002 that Chris Harris received the worst news.

He had been admitted to hospital for a routine hernia operation.

But as he came round, his doctor told him thatwhile the operation had been a success, he had discovered cancer and it was the worst possible news - it was so serious he was told he had just days to live.

Chris and his family count their blessings that 13 years later he is still a hugely active grandad and member of the community.

The former bike shop owner said: "I have been very lucky.

"I am sure God was with me because I was in the right place, at the right time with the right surgeon.

"Brian Rhys found my trouble when he opened me up.

"He had me back in hospital and I was treated. It was unbelievable.

"It was very serious. If they hadn't found it when they did, I was told it would have been curtains."

It took four years for him to "get back on his feet" and he has continued to have check-ups but cannot praise the care he had at Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales enough.

"I know you hear people moaning and groaning about the health service, but they couldn't have done more," he said.

Since his treatment, the family have given plenty back to cancer charities.

Next month his son Damien, daughter-in-law Carla and six-year-old grandson Charlie will be on the starting line for the first ever Whitchurch reindeer run. The event is raising money for Velindre, one of many charities Chris has supported since his recovery.

"My dad is so strong that he will fight anything," said Damien.

"He has his six-monthly check-ups and he had a recent bit of a scare but he's tough.

"He wakes up every day and says 'I'm not dead yet'.

"He is such a character." Staff from Damien's Whitchurch shop, Damien Harris Cycles will also take part in the Reindeer Run, as well as other local businesses to offer their support to the cancer centre.

| There are still places |for the run, to enter, contact Velindre on 029 2031 6211.

HOW TO DONATE For more information about Velindre Cancer Centre visit: www.velindrefundraising.com Donations will be gratefully received. Please send cheques, payable to'The Lord Mayor's Charity' to: Protocol Office, Mansion House, Richmond Road, Cardiff, CF24 3UN.

If you wish to organise a fund-raising event to support Velindre Cancer Centre please let us know: ProtocolOffice@cardiff.gov.uk or call 029 2087 1543 WHAT EVENTS ARE COMING UP? November 20: Coffee morning at Mansion House. Contact Jayne Cowan on 07970 013332 December 2: Christmas Concert at St John's Church. Contact Velindre on 029 2031 6211.

December 5: Reindeer Run in Whitchurch. Contact Velindre on 029 2031 6211.

December 6: Annelies Christmas Carols at Mansion House. Contact Velindre on 029 2031 6211.

Also, a coffee morning at Lew's Coffee Shop, Station Road in Llandaff North. Call Lewys Wooten on 029 2055 5560 or Councillor Dilwar Ali on 07734 880397 or Councillor Sue White on 07779 354776 December 28: Cardiff United Against Cancer Winter Walk at Sophia Gardens. Contact Velindre on 029 2031 6211.

January 16: Coffee morning 10am until noon. For further information contact Councillor Dilwar Ali on 07734 880397 or Councillor Sue White on 07779 354776 January 30: Nahin Spice Centre, 314 Caerphilly Road, Heath, Cardiff, CF14 4NT. Join tiffin mas tasting everyone will receive a new dish. For further information call 029 2052 0360 or email info@nahin.co.uk WHAT IS VELINDRE? Velindre Cancer Centre in Whitchurch, Cardiff, part of Velindre NHS Trust, provides specialist cancer services to 1.5 million people living in South East Wales and is one of the 10 largest cancer centres in the UK.

It is a specialist treatment, teaching and research and development centre for non-surgical oncology, treating patients with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and related treatments, and caring for patients with specialist palliative care needs.

Velindre's 670 staff treat more than 5,000 new cancer referrals and around 50,000 outpatient appointments each year.

CAPTION(S):

Damien Harris, who is running the Whitchurch Reindeer Run, with his dad Chris, who was diagnosed with cancer 13 years ago Damien Harris, who is running the Whitchurch Reindeer Run, with his dad Chris, who was diagnosed with cancer 13 years ago 111115HARRIS1029 ROB BROWNE
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 12, 2015
Words:737
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