A man who has survived six major operations in six years to remove cancerous tumours from his body is defying doctors to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for charity.

Mark Nixon was just 26 and living at the family home in Baildon when he was diagnosed with grade four testicular cancer on Friday, June 13, 2003. His family were told he had a 50 per cent chance of survival.

The quantity surveyor’s life hung in the balance through nine gruelling cycles of chemotherapy. Despite the treatment he had many tumours in his lungs, liver and abdomen which did not respond.

But with the expertise of doctors at St James’s Institute of Oncology in Leeds and The Royal Marsden Hospital in London, he underwent six major operations to remove the tumours. The last one was carried out just four months ago to remove a malignant tumour from his neck.

After the operation Mark was told by one of his consultants it was likely the cancer would return and said it would be in his best interest to have preventative chemotherapy.

But, Mark had different ideas and said to his family: “Preventative chemotherapy? I’d rather climb Kilimanjaro!”

True to his word the 32-year-old, who now lives in Rawdon, will set off for the summit of Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest peak, in Tanzania – on Tuesday, November 24, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Prior to his cancer treatment Mark played rugby union for Otley and Huddersfield. Unable to continue his rugby, he replaced that passion with rowing and joined Bradford Amateur Rowing club earlier this year.

His mum Julia Nixon, a retired Bradford swimming teacher, who lives in Baildon, said: “He is simply inspirational. Mark’s sheer determination to accomplish the seemingly impossible has no limits. “Mark is full of gratitude to the two major hospitals that have helped him so much. He is also extremely grateful to the Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre attached to St James’s, Bradford Cancer Support and The Yorkshire Care Centre.”

To sponsor Mark go to: justgiving.com/Mark-Nixon-Kilimanjaro-Nov-2009/