Melton cancer survivor raises thousands with epic cycle ride
An ‘incredible’ cancer survivor from Melton raised nearly £40,000 for a charity which supported him by cycling nearly 1,000 miles along the length of Britain.
Andrew King (56) lost five stone in weight and had to learn how to eat and swallow food and water again following his intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
He rebuilt his strength with the help of Macmillan Cancer Support and wanted to give back to them by raising vital funds.
That led to him taking on the challenge of cycling 950 miles in 10 days and climbing 50,000ft from Land’s End in Cornwall to John O’Groats in Scotland, accompanied by three friends, James Dickens , Andrew Hatfield and Gavin Pond.
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Andrew, who was diagnosed in July 2020 at the height of the Covid pandemic, said: “The difficulty I was finding was going to the appointments on my own, you get a lot of technical information being explained to you but all you hear is ‘cancer’.
"So trying to remember what else was said is quite difficult.
"Every time I went to see a specialist, my Macmillan nurse would call me afterwards to check that I had understood everything that had been said during my appointment and ask if I needed any help.
"Having someone to go through it afterwards and explain what it means, when I’d come to terms with the situation, was so helpful.”
He added: “Doing the cycle ride was a bit like closure, I’m now in remission, I’m getting back to my old self so it was my way of saying thank you.
"The support we had was amazing, not just from family, friends and work colleagues, including excellent support from the business Dalzeil, but also from strangers we met on the route.”
Andrew had gone from a fit rugby player to being fed through a tube after being told the cancer on his tongue had spread to 50 lymph nodes throughout his head and neck. The father-of-three underwent four months of treatment.
He said: “The support from Macmillan was amazing. The difficulty I had was trying to keep the weight on.
"I went from a fit, rugby playing guy of 17 stone to just 12 stone.
"I didn’t have any muscle strength but I needed to keep enough weight on to have treatment.
"The team gave us ideas on how to load extra calories to get my weight up.
"They were always there to answer any questions we had.”
Tori Harrison, Macmillan fundraising manager for Leicestershire, said: “Andrew’s story is incredible, to have come through cancer treatment and take on a huge challenge like this is amazing and we are so grateful to him and his teammates.
"The money raised through fundraising challenges like this goes a long way to providing the vital services that Macmillan funds, and helps us to do whatever it takes for people living with cancer.”
Click HERE to pledge sponsorship towards the charity cycle effort completed by Andrew, David, Andrew and Gavin.