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War hero completes charity row
8:00pm Tuesday 29th October 2013 in News
A FALKLANDS War veteran, who had his nose removed and rebuilt after being diagnosed with cancer, smashed a fundraising target by completing a tough rowing challenge.
Murdoch Skelton, a former Warrant Officer with the Army’s elite Paratroop regiment, rowed a half-marathon distance on an indoor rowing machine to raise cash for Cancer Research UK.
The 62-year-old, who lives with his wife Alyson in The Street, in Old Basing, raised more than £1,300 – smashing his original target of £500.
“I am seriously pleased with that,” he said. “I was training for three or four months. Initially it was to lose weight but then I thought I could do something with it.”
Mr Skelton, who now works for the security team at Sony’s headquarters, in Jays Close in Viables, underwent life-changing surgery 10 years ago when Basingstoke hospital doctors found cancerous tumours in his nose.
Expert surgeons had to take off the nose, and, over the course of seven operations, rebuilt it using skin taken from his forehead.
“It looks a bit rough but at least it is there,” said Mr Skelton. “The surgeons just took it off and then rebuilt it.”
“It was a bit of a shock to the system,” he added. “A lot of cancers are ‘inside’ and nobody can see it. This was very visual. At first it was a bit daunting going outside because everybody was looking and talking. But at least I am still here and I don’t care.”
Despite losing his nose, Mr Skelton still has a sense of taste and a “weird sense of smell.”. He added: “I can smell cut grass but not a farmer’s field that’s just been laid with manure. And I can smell my wife’s perfume.”
He undertook his charity challenge at Fitness First, on Chineham Business Park, and managed to row 13.1 miles in one hour 39 minutes.
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