Now Steve Rowley’s daughter Emma is running the Great South Run to raise awareness of his biggest battle.
Steve, 67, is a popular figure in pubs and venues in Denmead for performances of rock and roll classics from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
But in May this year, Mr Rowley, of London Road, Waterlooville, was diagnosed with myeloma – a rare form of cancer that attacks the plasma cells found in bone marrow.
He was living with wife Pauline, 64, in their Spanish retirement home in Fuengirola when he developed aches and pains in his bones.
Mr Rowley went to a chiropractor, who said he was just suffering with a slipped disc.
It wasn’t until doctors carried out further tests in England that it was revealed he was suffering from the illness.
Miss Rowley, 39, of The Meadow in Denmead, will take part in the south’s biggest race next month to raise money for the charity Myeloma UK.
She said: ‘It was a massive shock. He used to be so healthy.
‘He’s quite well-known in Denmead for being an Elvis tribute singer.
‘Mum and dad are very sociable and have lots of friends.
‘The cancer is treatable, not curable, which is the sad part.
‘I thought running the race would be a great way to raise awareness of myeloma and money for the charity because they have given mum a lot of support.
‘I’ve never done anything like this before, apart from the Race for Life.
‘I’m not the fittest of people but I have been training.
‘I have two children, and it’s trying to fit it all in.
‘Mum has found it really hard but she’s had a lot of support from friends and the charity.’
Mr Rowley said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted Emma is taking part in the run.
‘It was fantastic to hear when she said she was going to run it.
‘A good friend of mine, Darron Strange, took part in a triathlon in July and raised £2,000 for cancer charities on the back of my diagnosis.
‘It was a massive shock to hear I had cancer.
‘It was life changing as you usually read about these things in the paper.’
You can donate towards Miss Rowley’s challenge by visiting her online fundraising page at justgiving.com/Emma-Rowley79