A FATHER of three has described his feelings of sadness and regret after his wife died from cervical cancer aged 53.

Laurence Carter from Seaford remembers his wife Melitta urging him to go to the screening appointments available for men.

But he never thought to remind her to go for a smear test, which may have picked up her cancer.

Mr Carter is now attempting to raise awareness of cervical cancer.

On Saturday he will start a 3,500-mile cycle/walk aiming to raise £200,000 for Cancer Research UK in Melitta’s memory.

He said: “When I turned 50, Melitta started reminding me about health checks that were available for men

but at no stage did I remind her to go for cervical screening.

“It never crossed my mind.

“Now I think to myself, if I had raised it and she had gone six months earlier, she might be alive.

“So I am walking to raise awareness.

“Many men might not be familiar with the importance of smear tests, or that there is a safe, highly-effective vaccine which protects against the main types of the human papilloma virus which can cause cervical cancer.

“The women in their lives – daughters, sisters, mothers, girlfriends or wives – might be busy and putting off making an appointment, thinking it can wait.

“We should be reminding them to go for that

appointment as soon as the letter comes, before it’s too late.”

Mr Carter paid a warm tribute to his late wife.

He said: “My beautiful, wonderful wife Melitta mother of our three children, sister, daughter and beloved friend to many, died of cervical cancer in 2015.

“People were drawn to Melitta.

“She empathised, expressed opinions, argued, made you laugh.

“She made everyone feel alive. She touched and enriched the lives of so many people, this is the least I can do for her.”

He is aiming to become the first person to walk 3,500 miles around the coast of England and Wales within a year.

His journey will take him through 29 counties.

Mr Carter will allow himself a few rest days but intends to spend the majority of the next 12 months on the move.

The money he raises will go towards a Cancer

Research UK-supported

project at the Department of Behavioural Science

and Health, University College London, led by Dr Jo Waller.

To follow Laurence’s progress visit: https://www.3500toendit.com/