A MAN who has lost six family members to cancer is preparing for a sponsored walk from Bradford to Manchester this Sunday, to raise money for a Bradford-based cancer charity.

Liam Perry, who is originally from Liverpool, is to walk from Bradford city centre to Manchester city centre, to support the Imran Khan Cancer Appeal, which helps cancer patients in Pakistan who may not be able to afford treatment.

35-year-old Liam, who now divides his time between living in Leeds and in Manningham, was homeless until last year, and was first forced to live on the streets when he was just 13.

As part of his Rise to Freedom UK campaign, Liam also does walks across the country to raise awareness and money for the homeless and for those in poverty.

He is hoping to complete his 35-mile trek on 6 September, starting at City Hall, and estimates that the walk will take over 11 hours, although he is aiming to complete it in under the estimated time frame.

"I've lost a lot of people to cancer, so this is a really big thing for me", said Liam.

"I know they would be proud of me for doing this, as it makes a big impact."

Liam is walking for the Little Horton Lane-based Imran Khan Cancer Appeal, which supports cancer patients in Pakistan, who may not have access to the same healthcare resources that are available in the UK.

Its Shaukat Khanum Hospital in Lahore provided free cancer treatment to 75 per cent of its patients through donations last year, while the charity - which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year - also has a hospital in Peshawar.

The hospitals are named after Shaukat Khanum, who died of cancer in 1985 - she was the mother of Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan and ex-international cricketer, who founded the charity.

"In poorer countries, as well as in war-torn countries, cancer patients don't always get treatment, but the Imran Khan Cancer Appeal gives hope to those patients", said Liam.

"A lot of the patients in Pakistan are young children - I have two children myself and wouldn't want to see them or anyone else suffer like that.

"This is important to me, so that's why I reached out and emailed the Imran Khan Cancer Appeal, and they accepted my offer to walk for them.

"I've been doing charity walks for two years, and in November, I'm also planning to walk the entire British coastline, to raise awareness for my Rise to Freedom UK Campaign.

"I was homeless from the age of 13, until I was rehomed last year, and I have a vision to end homelessness in the UK. My campaign represents the first time a homeless person has ever come from a lifetime on and off the streets with a vision and a plan of such magnitude.

"Our team will go out to the streets, across the country, and reach out to rough sleepers and the invisible homeless - those who are staying out of sight or sofa surfing. We'll then reach out to landlords to try and help their situation.

"After this, we'll allocate them a dedicated volunteer to check on them, make sure they're okay and make sure that they need for nothing.

"We then want to delve into the poverty side of things, and support low-income families across the country, providing them with funding to help pay their bills.

"I want to put an end to homelessness and poverty in the UK, and I will continue to keep pushing forward with this vision and campaign for the rest of my life - that's my promise."

Shafiq Rafiq, of Imran Khan Cancer Appeal, thanked Liam for his charitable efforts.

"I'm really happy that Liam came to us. He has some amazing goals and it's great that he's come on board", he said.

"Cancer patients in Pakistan need as much help as they can get, it's very hard to get treatment if you come from a poor place or if you don't have much education.

"We employ over 3,000 people and provide free cancer care throughout Pakistan - we don't want to see anyone suffer.

"Most of our doctors are trained in the UK or the US, and we have plans to build a third Shaukat Khanum Hospital in Karachi, in 2023.

"We celebrated our silver anniversary this year and Imran Khan, who founded the charity, is also one of our registered trustees.

"In the wake of coronavirus, we converted an ICU ward into a COVID-19 ward.

"We're also giving free COVID-19 checks at our hospitals and making sure that Pakistan is geared up to battle coronavirus as well as cancer.

"I would like to thank Liam, as he has a very good heart and we're very grateful to him for all of his support."