A Burston man who organised a charity motorbike ride after his friend was diagnosed with a brain tumour admits he shed a tear or two on an emotional day.
Andy Downes was compelled to organise an awareness and fundraising event after friend Ted Churchard, also of Burston, was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
On Sunday, 115 motorcyclists departed Morrisons in Diss, riding a 40-mile route to The Ox and Plough in Old Buckenham. More than £1,800 has now been raised for The Brain Tumour Charity.
The event fell on Mr Churchyard’s 61st birthday. Unfortunately, due to the severity of his illness, he was unable to attend.
But Mr Downes said the fundraising total had been relayed to Mr Churchard – who was happy and appreciative of people’s efforts, help and generosity to help others in his position.
“I was going down a road, just coming off the Bury Road at Stanton and heading towards East Harling, there was a huge, empty piece of road without any hedgerows, and I could see all these bikes in front of me, and a tear ran down my cheek,” said Mr Downes.
I was just so grateful that people have given the charity this supportAndy Downes, oragniser
“I was just so grateful that people have given the charity this support.
“I told people what had stirred me into doing it, and a number of people said they knew someone, or relations, a daughter, mother, father, son, who have had a brain tumour, and had offered to support us with this event. It is brilliant.”
He continued: “We had an excellent send-off from the customers at Morrisons, too.
“I did not have a fundraising figure in mind, but I hoped that we would raise £1,000, and I know that the JustGiving page had produced quite a bit of money.
“We have been told by Mark Ellis of Morrisons and the landlord Ben at The Ox and Plough if we want to do it again next year, we can.
“I have had many text messages saying it was an awesome event, please do it again, it was a fantastic rally. I have not had any negative comments at all, so I feel chuffed.
“The first of anything is always the hardest. Whether I feel I can do it again, I don’t know. But it was a fantastic day out.”
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/motorbikecharityrun.
For more on The Brain Tumour Charity, see www.thebraintumourcharity.org