A SOUTH Cheshire man battling with cancer is being backed by big-hearted townspeople.
Thomas Hauser, of Lindsay Way in Alsager, has been fighting germ cell cancer, which is a rare form of testicular cancer, for a year.
The 20-year-old has set about raising cash for the Teenage Cancer Trust which is trying to establish young persons units (YPUs) for cancer sufferers in hospitals around the country.
Just days after undergoing intense bouts of chemotherapy, Thomas took to the streets of Alsager with a collection box to begin his fundraising.
Now others from across the town have joined him by launching a 24-hour six-a-side football marathon.
The tournament will see five teams take to the pitch at Alsager Leisure Centre from noon on Saturday, July 15, through to noon the following day in non-stop action.
Organisers are hoping that hundreds will attend and make donations with dignitaries such as local MP Lady Ann Winterton already confirmed.
Thomas is being treated at the YPU at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham where his parents Brian and Ute visit him daily. It is one of eight YPU's across the country but the group is hoping to increase the numbers to 20.
The units are aimed at bridging the gap for cancer sufferers moving from children's units to adult care.
Thomas, who is undergoing a third bout of chemotherapy, said: 'The Teenage Cancer Trust has recognised that as soon as a young person becomes too old for a children's ward they have to be treated on an adult ward.
'These wards do not necessarily cater for the needs of teenagers. The trust's main aim is to sponsor the development of specific wards for teenagers nationwide.'
Thomas' girlfriend Leanne has kept a constant vigil at his bedside through out his treatment and has been able to stay with him in Birmingham where they worked together making greetings cards that started the ball rolling on his fundraising drive.
Organiser of the six-a-side marathon, Andrew Poole said: 'When we heard about Thomas's plight from one of his neighbours we had to organise something.
''We are hoping to raise a minimum of £3,000 for the charity through sponsorship and through collections.'
Anyone wishing to make a donation should contact Andrew Poole on 01270 877408.