'One Lung Pete' embarks on 1,000-mile venture for Ramsbury-born charity
Challenge will take place less than two years after cancer operation which saw part of lung removed
LESS than two years after completing life-saving cancer treatment, in which half of one of his lungs was removed, one Ramsbury resident has set himself a challenge to cycle 1,000 miles across the country.
Pete Willetts, aged 55, will be cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats with fellow villagers Charles Gardner and Steve Tippins, to raise funds for Ramsbury-born charity Action Through Enterprise (ATE), which helps to improve the lives of a poverty-stricken community in Ghana, and Macmillan Cancer Care.
In 2011, tests into a suspected heart problem discovered a cancerous tumour in one of his lungs, despite him being a non-smoker.
What followed was an operation to remove the tumour, which required half of the affected lung to be removed, and also his lymph nodes to which the cancer had spread.
Then came chemotherapy.
The news was a double-blow for Mr Willetts, as it meant that his sports-heavy lifestyle had to change.
He had previously ranked high in competitive tennis leagues in Swindon, had completed a Glasgow marathon and several Swindon half marathons.
However, this week, Mr Willetts said that he was now ready for his next challenge. So, on May 24, the trio will set off for John O’Groats from The Bell Pub, Ramsbury, with the aim of raising £20,000 to be split between the two charities.
Mr Willetts said: “I’m feeling confident. I know I can do it. I’m determined.
“I tackled cancer with that same attitude. I thought, ‘Here’s a challenge, I’ll take this on and I will beat it’.
“Everyone has said how well I’m doing to resume such an active lifestyle.
“I can’t stress enough the fantastic support I have had from my wife, family, friends and even acquaintances I hardly know – and how wonderful all the various doctors have been.
“I don’t feel like a hero. I’m just a bloke who had an illness to overcome.”
He has launched a blog so that people can keep up-to-date with his progress.
It can be accessed at http://ourbigride.wordpress. com or via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ourbigride?ref=bookmarks
To make a donation, visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/ourbigride1?