An award-winning Wearside triathlete keeps on competing despite illness flare-up and chemotherapy

Andrew in the running section of a triathlon.

Andrew in the running section of a triathlon.

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An inspirational athlete has battled through a rare illness and chemotherapy sessions to keep up his fundraising.

Best of Wearside award winner Andrew Robertson has a disorder called Wegener’s Granulomatosis that causes inflammation of the blood vessels.

Andrew during his fight for health.

Andrew during his fight for health.

His fight first began in 2008 when he started suffering from bizarre symptoms including a rash around his eyes, pain behind his eyeballs, aching bones and “horrendous” toothache.

He overcame it all to fundraise and has not stopped competing or fundraising - even though the condition flared up again in May.

“I had chemo again in May but instead of cancelling my events I decided to go ahead with them,” he said.

And his next aim is to complete two more gruelling triathlons which are at Bamburgh Castle on September 3 and Hartlepool’s Big Lime Triathlon on September 25.

I’m determined to help others by raising money for the charity Vasculitis UK. They helped me when I needed it and now it’s my turn to do something for them

Andrew Robertson

Andrew, from Great Lumley, said: “I’m determined to help others by raising money for the charity Vasculitis UK.

“They helped me when I needed it and now it’s my turn to do something for them. What gives me great inspiration is the comments I’ve received from fellow sufferers which I’ve given hope that they can resume a normal life.”

Andrew added: “Exercise and sports is a great relief for me.”

Thankfully, his condition was found relatively early. In other extreme cases, it can lead to kidney failure and death.

Andrew in a triathlon.

Andrew in a triathlon.

In Andrew’s case, Wegener’s Granulomatosis has left him with 15 per cent lung damage.

Yet despite his problems, thankful Andrew has fought back and even though he is still on chemotherapy, he is taking part in triathlons to try and help others.

last year, he won the Sporting Excellence category in the Best of Wearside awards after judges heard how two months ater his chemotherapy treatment finished, he did the Great North Run. Then, he did more half marathons. And marathons. And then took up the triathlon. And when the illness returned, he came through more treatment to compete again

Anyone wanting to support Andrew in his fundraising campaign should visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Andrew-Robertson25.