Cancer Survivor’s Return to Sprinting Glory

A cancer diagnosis and a speedy return to athletic competition don’t often go hand in hand. This does not, however, take into account sprinter and Everyone Active Sporting Champion Jason Carty’s determination and self-belief to return to athletics, despite this monumental set back.

Cancer Diagnosis

In June 2016, thinking he was suffering from an asthma attack, Jason took himself off to the Accident and Emergency department of his local hospital, feeling concerned, but not prepared for what was to come.

Having had chest x-rays done, the doctor told Jason to sit down. They had found shadows or ‘furriness’ around one of his lungs and, after a biopsy, the lung cancer diagnosis was confirmed.

Cancer Surgery

It was quickly decided that, due to the severity of the cancer, the whole of one of Jason’s lungs would have to be removed in order to stop it from spreading any further. Naturally, for a top-level athlete, this was a devastating blow.

Thankfully, the surgery went well, ridding Jason of his cancer and setting him on the road to recovery. Both physically and mentally, however, he was at a low ebb. The chaemotherapy was making him ill and the pneumonectomy left him breathless.

Cancer Recovery

None of this dimmed Jason’s determination to return to competition, however. Just two weeks after the operation, he set himself the challenge of being able to walk two miles in 10 days and his aerobic capacity began to grow slowly the more he pushed himself. By week four he was walking round the athletics track and, just six weeks after his operation, he was returning to training, working on his acceleration routines, something his doctor wasn’t particularly thrilled about.

Return to Training & Competition

Following that, Jason rested for a further two weeks but then returned to normal training. This was made particularly tricky due to his ongoing chaemotherapy, but he was utterly determined to compete in Daegu.

Unsurprisingly, he found competing in Daegu difficult. Jason made it to the final but was, in the end, beaten. He did not, however, let this defeat get the better of him. Instead, he felt it showed that he could compete at the highest level again and be as good as he ever was.

Successes

Since that defeat in Daegu, Jason has gone on to have some fantastic successes on the track. He has won the European Indoor Championships, the British Championships and even gone on to take the British record.

To be able to achieve all this in the aftermath of a serious cancer diagnosis, major surgery, the debilitating effects of chaemotherapy, as well as all the mental strain he would have been under is quite incredible. The whole episode pushed Jason to the very limits of his mental and physical endurance, but he was able to come out the other side healthy, happy and fit.