Horham man overcomes cancer and climbs church tower for good causes

Paul Hambling reaching the top of St Mary's Church in Horham. Picture: Dom Moyes.
Paul Hambling reaching the top of St Mary's Church in Horham. Picture: Dom Moyes.

When Paul Hambling was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in April last year, he refused to give up despite losing a leg ... and now he has climbed his village’s church tower to raise money for two good causes.

The 60-year-old climbed the tower of St Mary’s Church in Horham as a personal challenge.

Paul Hambling with friends and supporters at St Mary's Church in Horham.

Paul Hambling with friends and supporters at St Mary's Church in Horham.

Paul’s climb for Cancer Research and improvements the church roof has raised £2,000 and counting.

He said: “I started chemotherapy in June last year and during the second treatment my body started to close down and I got a blood clot in my leg.

“I was taken to Colchester Hospital where I lost my leg.”

Following a four-week bout in intensive care, Paul was sent home on end-of life-care. But with the aid of his carer and partner, Tom Wright, he pulled through.

You just have to have a positive attitude towards life. I was told I was coming home to die and I decided I wasn’t ready to go yet

Paul Hambling

“On a social evening a couple of months ago we were thinking about fundraising, and in my drunken state I said I’d climb the tower – I thought about it and realised it would be no problem at all.”

On the day of the climb, Paul had a support team. He said: “I felt really safe. The only problem I had was getting over the step at the top to get onto the roof. It was brilliant to reach the top. There were so many people here willing me on and it was a really fantastic day.”

Paul explained that, since his illness, he has found the motivation to take on new challenges.

“You just have to have a positive attitude towards life.

“I was told I was coming home to die and I decided I wasn’t ready to go yet. I have a lot of close friends in the village who have been very supportive.”

The Rev Michael Womack said: “I am proud of Paul, what he has done is tremendous.”