A 25-YEAR-OLD dad has been diagnosed with cancer.

Dalton man Stephen Wilton received the devastating news he had non-Hodgkin lymphoma in March.

Now Stephen’s friends have decided to raise money for him while he completes treatment.

The group of friends will aim to run a collective 1,500 miles starting from April 6 until May 4.

A statement from the organisers read: “In the short time since his diagnosis and starting his chemotherapy, Ste’s strength and attitude to fighting this illness has amazed everyone close to him.

“Stephen will also be facing this battle with the support of his partner Olivia and their young daughter Hallie.

“During this difficult time a group of friends close to Ste will be completing a fundraiser from April 6 to May 4 where they will be attempting to run 1,500 miles in total.

“All proceeds that are generated will be gifted to Ste and Olivia to support them during his treatment.”

The former Dowdales pupil has said he is “speechless” by the amount of support shown so far.

He has revealed he will be taking part in the fundraiser himself.

He added: “We are just absolutely speechless. We just don’t know what to say to thank everyone who is supporting our family right now, through the fundraising, through the shear amount of messages sending love, through getting things from the shops for us, anything and everything.

“The support from friends, family and even people we’ve never spoken too is very overwhelming.

“Liv has also never been so overwhelmed, she is truly truly grateful to every single person showing support.

“People forget that although I’m the one with the diagnosis and I’m the one going through the treatment, Liv has also got to live through this every single day with me, she is my rock, my inspiration and she’ll never know how thankful I am.”

Using the Strava app, there will be weekly updates as the group look to reach their target.

To make a donation visit: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/andygreeen