WHEN it comes to golf, Tony Ross has a bigger handicap than most.
Five years ago, the father of two was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer called myeloma.
But despite regular bouts of chemotherapy and chronic fatigue, Tony is set to tackle a marathon golf fundraising challenge.
Tony, 68, from Emmbrook, aims to complete a 54-hole session which means completing three rounds in one day at the Birds Hill Golf Centre in Maidenhead.
The captain of the Thames Valley Golf Club hopes to raise money for Myeloma UK, the only organisation in the UK dealing exclusively with the illness.
“Myeloma is in the bone marrow so I have a bone marrow strengthening drip every two months. It can leave me sore and tired,” explained Tony.
“I’m donating all money we raise to Myeloma UK which has been very supportive and provided information to me and my family.
“I was diagnosed with Myeloma in October 2013. At the time, my prognosis was three to five years. After six months of intensive, debilitating chemotherapy which reduced some of the cancer cells, I underwent an Autologous stem cell transplant in June 2014 which involved more chemotherapy and resulted in nearly four weeks in hospital.
“The disease has left me with impaired kidneys also chronic fatigue and also peripheral neuropathy from the chemotherapy.
“I’ve been on chemotherapy maintenance treatment since my transplant in 2014. With the support of my wonderful wife and family and also the medical staff at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford and the Royal Berkshire Hospital, I am able to play golf and enjoy my life.”
Myeloma UK also fund research to find a cure for the relapsing disease.
Despite his illness, Tony manages to play golf twice a week and still maintain a part-time job. He will be joined on his golfing challenge by wife, Christine, and fellow golfers from Thames Valley.
“I only took up golf in my forties but I soon became hooked,” he added. “Christine also plays but she has offered to be my caddy on the day. It’s also great to have the support of my fellow golfers and good friends.
“We want to raise as much as we can to help Myeloma UK.”
David Robertson from Thames Valley Golf Club added: “Tony is a fine golfer, a great guy and an inspiration.
“I am looking forward to the event and we hope to raise as much money as possible for Myeloma UK.”
Tony’s challenge takes place on Tuesday, June 12.
For more information or to make a donation, go to: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Tony-Ross54