Broadcaster Mark Radcliffe will mark his cancer recovery by unveiling his own engraved park bench with a difference.
His bench in the grounds of the University of Manchester will bear the inscription: “Mark Radcliffe loved sitting here….and still does thanks to advances in cancer research.”
Radcliffe, 61, was diagnosed with cancer last year and had a tumour removed from his tongue.
The cancer also spread to lymph nodes in his neck but following successful treatment at The Christie hospital in Manchester he returned to the airwaves in February.
On Thursday, the BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music presenter launches the Re-Write Cancer campaign – a £20 million joint fundraising appeal from Cancer Research UK, The Christie Charitable Fund and The University of Manchester.
The campaign aims to help meet the cost of a new £150 million cancer research facility.
The new building next to The Christie – due to open in early 2022 – will bring together the largest concentration of scientists, doctors and nurses in Europe to collaborate and accelerate progress for cancer patients.
Radcliffe, from Knutsford, Cheshire, said: “It’s an absolute honour to be involved in the Re-Write Cancer campaign. I loved my years studying at The University of Manchester, so it’s the perfect site for the bench.
“Facing a cancer diagnosis was extremely tough – it completely turned my life upside down and made me re-evaluate what really matters to me. But thousands of people are in the same boat every year and I was fortunate to receive excellent care at The Christie.
“Plans for the new research building sound exciting and it’s amazing that such a world-leading facility will be built on my doorstep in the North West. Research into cancer is the key to changing lives now and in the future. Without it I simply wouldn’t be standing – or sitting – here today.”
Construction will take place in the same location as the Paterson building which was home to the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute and other research teams from The University of Manchester.
It will be twice the size of the Paterson which was extensively damaged by fire in 2017. Although much vital research work was salvaged, more than 300 scientists and support staff were displaced and are temporarily relocated 13 miles away at Alderley Park in Cheshire.
President and vice-chancellor of The University of Manchester, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell said: “As an institution and research community we were all deeply saddened by the fire of 2017, but the scope and vision outlined for the new project is very exciting. It is matched only by our ambition to enhance Manchester’s reputation as a world-leading centre for cancer research.”