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Scotland scrum-half Grayson Hart has joined ScottishPower in its efforts to help beat cancer sooner.

The Glasgow Warrior lost his dad to melanoma in 2009 and is speaking up about his personal experience to support its employees taking part in Bear Grylls Survival Races across the UK to raise funds for Stand Up To Cancer.

Grayson is calling on the budding survivalists to uncover their ‘warrior spirit’ when taking on the challenge to help further life-saving research. The rugby player understands first-hand the importance of finding a cure for cancer and learning to survive. He was just 21 when his dad, Ian, passed away.

Grayson said: “Losing my dad to cancer has been the toughest challenge of my life. We had an incredibly close relationship and it was really hard to say goodbye when I was only 21. It really affected me at the time and my behaviour started to spiral. It’s true however that the storms harden us and reaching out for support and learning to speak about things helped me through it. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my dad’s support, he’s with me on the pitch when I play and I take comfort knowing that he has the best view in the house.

“We all need to do our bit to beat cancer and together we are stronger. That’s why I’m speaking up today about my experience and to show my support to ScottishPower and its team of warrior fundraisers. ScottishPower has already raised an incredible £9 million for Cancer Research UK and will undoubtedly raise even more for Stand Up To Cancer by taking part in Bear Grylls Survival Races this weekend.”

The 5K and 10K Bear Grylls Survival Races are full of obstacles, challenges and fun, the latest of which is at Winton House, near Edinburgh tomorrow Saturday September 3.

Grayson delivered the ‘ultimate warrior’ lesson earlier this week on Calton Hill to brave cancer survivor John McShane, who discovered he had tonsil cancer in 2014. Now cancer free and just months away from his fiftieth birthday, John is set to take on the Bear Grylls challenge with wife Marie, a ScottishPower employee.

Grayson harnessed his positive energy with a Bear Grylls style warm up to get John ready – mentally and physically – for the race. By sharing their stories, Grayson and John both hope to inspire more people, men in particular, to ‘speak up’ about their own experiences and help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

John McShane said: “Facing cancer can be the loneliest time in your life. It’s a real cliché but true that you never think it’s going to happen to you. I was very lucky that support came from many places – my family, my employees and colleagues, great friends – but not everyone has that comfort. I know only too well how difficult it can be to face up to cancer, but as a survivor I now realise how important it is to speak up and encourage even more fundraising so we can all beat cancer sooner. “I’m chuffed to bits to be working with Grayson and he’s given me some great advice on being bold and powering through what is going to be my latest challenge!”

ScottishPower is a core sponsor of Stand Up To Cancer as part of its ongoing partnership with Cancer Research UK. This year, Stand Up To Cancer is hosting charity heats at Bear Grylls Survival Races across the UK and over 100 ScottishPower employees are taking part to help beat cancer sooner. Since 2012 ScottishPower has raised more than £9 million for Cancer Research UK through a raft of initiatives. The Stand Up To Cancer live show will be televised on Friday 21st October on Channel 4.

Inspired by the survival expert himself, Bear Grylls Survival Race is a series of mud runs, obstacle races and survival challenges designed to get people back in the great outdoors and out of their comfort zone, no matter what their ability.