Ben Hobday grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire. As a child, he was an enthusiastic member of the Holcombe Hunt pony club, qualifying for the Pony Club Championships in all three phases — the first rider in his club to do so in 25 years.

On June 29 2015 the popular international events rider, was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a very aggressive form of cancer, which forms in the lymph glands. After an intense 3 month battle against the disease Ben went into remission in September the same year, and returned to the saddle shortly after. He received his treatment at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care.

He became a patron of Bright Red on June 29 2016, exactly one year after his diagnosis. Ben is supporting Bright Red’s goal to employ more Outreach Nurses.

You can find out more about Ben by visiting his website


“I’m very grateful to clever people, because I’m a practical person. You take for granted people who work endlessly – and that’s not just the doctors, that’s the nurses who are looking after you at two o’clock in the morning when you’re throwing up and feeling sick.”

“I’m lucky that I’ve got good friends and family around me to keep me focused on the light at the end of the tunnel. With these clever people around there is light at the end of the tunnel, for everyone, and you’ve just got to believe that.”

“Without charities like Bright Red  it would be a lot more difficult to get better.”

Born in County Durham, Charlie Spedding became a national hero when he won a bronze medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic marathon.

However, his greatest achievement was overcoming Non Hodgkin’s B Cell Lymphoma, which he was diagnosed with in July 2010. Charlie still holds the English record for the marathon, which he set over 25 years ago.

He started his treatment at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care in August 2010, and after battling for six months he completed his therapy in January 2011. He has since been given the all clear.


“Getting diagnosed with blood cancer was a shock, particularly having lived a very healthy lifestyle. But I was given fantastic support and I think keeping as healthy as I could throughout my treatment really helped me to overcome my illness.

“I’m not saying that people need to have an Olympic level of fitness but if they are able to keep active I think every little bit of exercise helps both physically and psychologically.”

“Bright Red is a really important charity that cares for patients and provides support to their families and carers. I’m really proud to be a patron.”

You can find out more about Charlie by visiting his website

Boxing champion Billy Hardy announced as new Patron of Bright Red.

Billy Hardy, 52, born in Sunderland and living in Newcastle, is a former bantamweight and featherweight boxing champion. He started boxing at the age of 6 and quickly progressed through the ranks.

Billy was 33 when his sister was diagnosed with non hodgkins lymphoma – a disease he hadn’t heard of before. Susan had a short battle with the disease but sadly passed away.

Billy Hardy

“‘There’s a lot still to be done in the fight against blood cancer. I know that we’re very blessed in our region with fantastic facilities, support and amazing medical staff, but there’s still a lot to be done. I want to help as many patients and their families as possible and I’m really excited about this new venture.”.

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