An outdoor enthusiast dealt the crushing blow of an incurable cancer diagnosis has responded by challenging himself to walk the length of the Pennine Way.

Despite the rigours of revolutionary treatment to extend his life, Ant Henson is now on the last leg of his bid to raise £10,000 for the support centre helping him through the ongoing ordeal.

The 53-year-old North Yorkshire architect, described as a well-liked family man, suddenly collapsed and was taken into intensive care not long after completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, in April 2022.

Despite the apparent bleak outlook, the father-of-two was given a pioneering operation and treatment to extend his life.

He responded in true fashion by setting himself the task of completing the 268-mile walk, the distance of the Pennine Way.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Cancer patient Ant Henson getting through revolutionary treatment to extend his life by walking the

But he is not completing his task trekking down the actual “backbone of England”, as most of the distance is being completed in the garden of his home, near Ripon, accompanied by friends and family, when he is able.

He also set himself the target of raising £10,000 from the virtual trek to donate to Harrogate’s Active Against Cancer (AAC), which helps those living and undergoing treatment for cancer.

The AAC centre helps cancer sufferers like Mr Henson to maintain and achieve a level of fitness to help see them through treatment and surgery, while also providing mental and well-being support.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Steve Henwood, left, of the Active Against Cancer centre in Harrogate, with grateful user and

Mr Henson said he was primarily grateful to the staff at St James’s Hospital in Leeds, where the revolutionary treatment has been administered, initially killing parts of his liver where he has 30 tumours, two described as being the size of a grapefruit.

In July last year he began the cutting-edge treatment involving injections of nuclear material made in a particle accelerator in Italy.

It is transported for injection within 24 hours.

He then spends a further 24 hours in a lead-lined room and checked with a Geiger counter to see if it’s safe for him to return home, where he endures a fortnight in isolation until the radiation diminishes enough to be considered no longer harmful.

Mr Henson said: “The staff at St James’s have done an amazing job keeping me alive.

“I can never thank them enough.”

His treatment at St James’s has been overseen by consultant Dr Alan Anthoney and, more recently by Dr Michael Flatley.

Speaking of the part played by the AAC in Harrogate, Mr Henson said: “It has kept up my physical and mental well-being for the past eight months and helped me live as normal a life as possible.

“Without them, I would not have been able to deal with the treatments I have received and would not be able to continue to move forward.

“They have been a key part in keeping me alive and positive.”

Following each bout of treatment, Mr Henson has gradually built up his fitness by walking around his garden, increasing the distance from a few hundred metres to two miles per day.

He has now raised all but £1,000 of the target of £10,000, and is being backed by his supportive wife Fiona, other family members and friends, in his bid to complete the final flourish.

Further details about his virtual Pennine Way challenge can be found via, while details of the work of the Harrogate AAC hospital and community charity can be viewed on