ALWAYS active, Chris Evans played cricket alongside Lancashire hero Jimmy Anderson as a young man.
So it came as a total shock when doctors told Mr Evans, from Harwood, that he had leukaemia in 2011.
Mr Evans, aged 32, who will take a tablet every day for the rest of his life to control his Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML), is now hoping to fund more research into the disease.
On May 18 he will run the Manchester 10k for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and, now in complete remission, said he wanted to take the chance to thank staff at the Haematology ward at the Royal Bolton Hospital Mr Evans added: “The NHS gets mixed press but these staff did a fantastic job.
“It was a shock to be told you’ve got something like this, and it takes you a while before you settle down.
“I still go back to the hospital every four months, for a new prescription for the medication and to have a blood test.
“I had not been feeling well for a while and got it seen to as soon as possible.
“When you have been fit and active your whole life you just don’t expect it, but you have to get on with it.”
Mr Evans played for England under-19s and more recently for Bradshaw CC, and joined Ian Botham for a leg of his Great British Walk in aid of leukaemia research in 2012.
He has never done any stamina running before and added: “It is hard work — I’ve been running each day at some stage to get myself up to speed. I’m not too bad now.
“I’ve not set myself a target — I don’t really know what a good time will be for me, but if I can finish without stopping I’ll be happy.”
Dr Clare Barnes, a consultant on the Royal Bolton Hospital’s Haematology ward, added: “It is fantastic that Chris is doing so well and he always brings a smile to our faces when he comes back to see us as he is so grateful.”
Mr Evans has set himself a modest fundraising target of £500, as he asked many friends to donate in 2012 for the Botham walk.
To help him exceed that figure, visit justgiving.com/backstop8