Preparations for the birth of a new baby should be a happy time – but when the father has been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, life becomes more complicated.

In fact, for Mark Hazzard, acting co-head teacher at Ellenborough and Ewanrigg Infant School that was just one aspect of 1918, a year he will never forget.

“They say that the three most stressful things in life are getting married, moving house and having children. My wife Kim and I managed to do all three in six months. However, on top of that, I was diagnosed with Stage 3S Hodgkin’s' Lymphoma, which I discovered through a lump in my neck. The cancer had spread to my spleen and it was only the quick action of doctors and the wonderful staff at the Henderson Suite of the West Cumberland Hospital and the unwavering support of friends and family allowed us to tackle the disease and meet my work commitments.”

He underwent 24 weeks of aggressive but high-impact treatment. He went for treatment while Kim had antenatal care.

“The hospital also allowed us to co-ordinate appointments.”

Baby George was born four weeks after his last treatment and the couple are enjoying their new home in High Harrington.

But now, they say, it is time for them to give something back.

They have pledged to raise awareness and money for Cancer Research by walking 10,000 steps a day during March as part of the Walk all Over Caner campaign.

Mark said: “Those who know us will know that we could easily put on a concert raise money for such a worthy cause, and we may still do that in the future; but we felt that the commitment of 10,000 steps everyday was more of a personal commitment.

“We count our steps throughout our working day, and then supplement it with additional walks in the evening. “

He said looking back, he is not sure how they coped but they did it with a smile.

To help the couple raise funds visit: