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Chain-smoking grandad kicks habit after wife develops breast cancer

A chain-smoking grandad who got through 60 cigarettes a day was only motivated to kick the habit after his wife developed breast cancer.

Steve Arlington, 51, has tried to quit smoking many times before but managed to stop overnight in support of his wife, Leigh, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last September.

Steve was bitten by the running bug when he was one of nine family members and friends taking part in last month’s GEAR 10K.

Lead breast cancer nurse Angela Holford (centre) with Steve and Leigh Arlington (2417545)
Lead breast cancer nurse Angela Holford (centre) with Steve and Leigh Arlington (2417545)

The team managed to raise £4,000 for the West Norfolk Breast Care Unit at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), where Leigh received treatment.

Steve said: “I used to smoke 50 or 60 a day, I’d always have a roll-up on the go. But I went from one extreme to the other and stopped immediately without vaping or any other method.

“Leigh wanted to give up after her diagnosis and I knew if I didn’t there was no that she would.

“I have tried to stop many times in the past but always failed because it was other people wanting me to.

“This time I had a reason, I wanted to stop and was determined I would.”

Steve says he feels better for it and Leigh, 49, who has managed to cut down from 20 cigarettes a day to two or three, is relieved his morning coughing ritual has ended.

He added: “We’re delighted to have been able to raise this money for the breast care unit.

“Every member of staff was fantastic. I know they see people like us every day but they really made us feel special and that made a big impression on us.”

QEH lead breast cancer nurse, Angela Holford, said the unit was very grateful for the terrific fundraising efforts, saying “the money will go towards improvements and equipment to enhance patient care”.

The hospital supports staff and patents to quit smoking through its partnership with East Coast Community Healthcare.

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