MEET six-time cancer survivor Jonathan Acott, our remarkable customer who celebrated his recent return to health by running the Berlin Marathon on Sunday.
Jonathan, 45, a life coach and business manager, set his sights on running a marathon on every continent last year when undergoing a recurrence of cancer that required chemotherapy and surgery to remove his spleen and kidney.
In running the first of many marathons, it was Jonathan's intention to show others that "anything is possible if you know your limitations not your limits".
He’s now embarked on a unique challenge that’ll see him attempt to join what’s known as the ‘7 Continents Club’ - an elite group of around 200 athletes to have completed a marathon on all seven continents in the world.
Jonathan's determined victory over cancer is providing huge encouragement and inspiration to other sufferers, too.
He says: “I was first diagnosed with cancer in 2004 which means a quarter of my life has been spent living with cancer.
"Six times I have heard the words ‘it’s cancer’, but I have also climbed mountains and swum lakes, walked on fire and run marathons.
"I have thrived in life because I have learned resilience, pragmatism, perspective and I have learned to listen to my body.
“There are millions of other people who are surviving cancer but they can't get out there and exercise the way they want to. I can."
The Surrey man has seen more hospitals than most will in a lifetime is throwing himself into something close to a 'normal' life again.
“I have had a cumulative total of six months of chemotherapy in hospital. I have had six major surgeries, I take antibiotics for life as I have a compromised immune system, I have permanent nerve damage and hearing loss - amongst a host of other issues."
Accompanying him in Berlin was friend and CurraNZ ambassador Alice Tourell-North (both, pictured right) who made a pact when he was ill to run the race with him – and step out of her comfort zone in Sprint and Standard distance triathlon.
“This weekend I ran the Berlin Marathon with Alice and lost count of the amount of people who asked me what time I was hoping for. All I wanted to do was run the race I had planned and one that I would be proud of - and that I did.”
Jonathan added CurraNZ to his training program for health reasons and to help with his recovery from training. “My health issues mean that I don’t recover as well as I used to after exercise and I am prone to infection so I can’t let myself get run down.
"So, as well as ensuring that I have a very carefully tailored training plan, I use CurraNZ for their anti-inflammatory and immune system-boosting properties. This way, I can make sure that I am always ready for the next training session.”
Reflecting on the weekend, Jonathan says: “The race itself was an amazing experience, I’ve run the distance before but never in a big City marathon and the atmosphere and the sheer spectacle was mind blowing.
“It rained on and off the whole day but I love running in the rain so that was to my advantage and I finished in 4:58.38 which was faster than I have ever run this distance.”
The most positive person you’d ever wish to meet, Jonathan is not surprisingly in demand as a motivational speaker and life coach. Next though, he is relishing running more marathons and visiting every continent on the planet.
He says: “With the correct training, my CurraNZ and some luck I can show anyone who is suffering or having a tough time that anything is possible if you know your limitations not your limits.”