A godfather and his godson confronted their fear of snakes by holding and putting around their necks two pythons and a boa constrictor snake.

But it was all for a good cause as Crispin Mardon, 59, who is diagnosed with bowel cancer, and his godson Richard Symonds, 28, raised money for Bowel and Cancer Research.

The 59-year-old from St Albans was diagnosed with the disease in January 2019 after a routine visit to the doctors. He has since been receiving treatment for the disease.

In April, the pair took part in the I've Got Guts challenge at the Snakes Alive reptile centre in Essex.

Mr Mardon said: “My heart rate went through the roof to start with, I was surprised the snakes weren’t cold and slimy and they felt like warm leather shoes.

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“I’m not sure I enjoyed the experience but I’m glad I’ve done it.”

Mr Symonds from Watford said: “The staff started by getting us to handle a few grass snakes and gradually the snakes got bigger.”

“When they brought out two pythons, called Monty and Charlotte, we thought that was it. But then they walked in with this 10ft boa constrictor and wrapped it around our necks.

“If Crispin can keep such a positive attitude and be so strong, the least I could do was face my phobia.

“He has always been an incredibly positive person, and even though he is battling cancer, that hasn’t changed at all and I have been completely inspired by his bravery.”

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The pair also wanted to raise awareness from the challenge to encourage people not to ignore the symptoms out of fear of going to the doctor.

He added: “It might seem terrifying to go to the GP but it could save your life.”

“More than 41,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in the UK making it the second most prevalent cancer. It is one of the most treatable cancers if caught early.”

To donate, go to: www.bowelcancerresearch.org/fundraisers/richards-fundraising-page