A Burston man hoping to raise funds and awareness to tackle a “terrible disease” is organising a charity motorbike ride after his good friend was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
Andy Downes said he was prompted to organise the event, in aid of The Brain Tumour Charity, after his friend Ted Churchard, also of Burston, was diagnosed with cancer.
I sat in the car one day after seeing him and I had tears rolling down my cheeks. From January to now, the amount he has gone downhill is unbelievableAndy Downes, organiser
The pair met through their mutual love of motorcycles.
After experiencing some back pain at Christmas time last year, believing he had a trapped nerve or a pulled muscle, and trips to his GP, the Norfolk and Norwich and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Mr Churchard was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour.
The charity ride will leave Morrisons in Diss at 10.30am on Sunday, July 23. The contingent will travel 40 miles, to finish at The Ox and Plough in Old Buckenham. It coincides with Mr Churchard’s 61st birthday – but unfortunately, due to the severity of his illness, it means he will not be able to attend on the day.
Mr Downes described the deterioration of his friend as “very, very sad.”
“He would help anybody with anything – nothing was too much trouble for him,” he said. “He is one of the good guys.
“He has gone from a healthy 60-year-old to having no use in the left side of his body and not being able to stand on his own, and all within six months.
“I sat in the car one day after seeing him and I had tears rolling down my cheeks. From January to now, the amount he has gone downhill is unbelievable.”
Mr Downes added he was hoping for a big turnout, with 200 posters and 3,000 flyers having been distributed.
“Quite a lot is in the press and on the news about Clic Sargent, breast cancer and some on prostate cancer, but very little is heard about brain cancer,” he said. “I felt this is something that has got to be done.”
The event has attracted much local support from bibs to signs and food, from the likes of Morrisons, The Ox and Plough in Old Buckenham, Diss Motorcycle Club, The Curry Wagon, Flying Chef, Fatstickman, Mervyn Lambert Plant Ltd, Toucan Hire, Diss Car Parts and The Norton Owners Club.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/motorbikecharityrun. For more on The Brain Tumour Charity, see www.thebraintumourcharity.org