COMING to terms with not being able to get up and walk was a tough realisation for Nigel Davidson.

After an overdue hospital visit almost left him rediscovering his mobility from scratch, the thought of walking dozens of miles each day was the last thing on Nigel’s mind.

Nigel’s love of walking was born out of a hobby which he soon turned into a successful dog walking and day care business he operated by the name of ‘Willow Walks’.

But with an ongoing bowel condition, which he first received surgery for 23 years ago, continuing to hamper his day-to-life, he suffered another setback last year.

He was diagnosed with cancer in September and was admitted to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle in November for surgery. However, his recovery process in hospital exceeded the expected time.

After a long, painful and difficult road to recovery, during which he could barely put one foot past the other over the two months, Nigel was finally released on December 31.

“It was horrible being there for so long. I was knocked back by pneumonia and lost 22kg in weight,” he said.

“Being there for so long had a huge impact on my social and family life.”

Whilst still cautious of his health post-hospital, he spent a months at his mother’s house in Carlisle before returning to Hexham.

In June last year, Nigel had kick-started his fund-raising campaign for Crohn’s & Colitis UK by taking part in its 10km ‘Walk It’ event raising more than £300 for the cause.

And this weekend he’s trebling his effort. Taking place on Saturday, starting and finishing in Leazes Park Newcastle, he plans to surpass the expected walking distance of 10k by walking 30k for the cause; a cause which saved his life not just once, but twice.

The charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK hosts a series of fund-raising walks in cities across the country through the summer months where people can walk either 5k or 10k.

And after a slow start to the year dedicated to recovery, Nigel is back clocking up the miles each week as part of his determined return to fitness.

He said: “I owe my life in no small way to the wonderful professionals at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, without whom I would certainly no longer be here.

“Particular thanks going to Mr Paul Hainsworth from the Freeman Hospital, Mr Rogvi from the Royal Victoria Infirmary and their teams, along with the wonderful Freeman Hospital staff and Dr Ben Frankel, and the team of nurses at the Sele Medical Practice in Hexham.

“A great and dedicated group of professionals in our local area, very often taken for granted, but there to support us in our time of need.

“I now feel that I owe it to the doctors’ great work in researching treatments for the disease and improving the day-to-day life for sufferers to go that extra mile in return – literally.”

Donations towards Nigel’s effort can be made at: Crohn’s & Colitis UK