A man from Lea is preparing to take on a 50-mile cycle challenge as he battles cancer.Advertisement
Mick Smith, 51, has colon, bowel, liver and lung cancer and is riding to support St Catherine’s Hospice.
He got back into the saddle 18 months ago after receiving his diagnosis, following a lifestyle of too much smoking, drinking and not enough exercise.
Mick said: “As a kid, me and my dad would also be out on our bikes – cycling is in the family, it’s always something we enjoyed doing together.
“But then life got in the way I guess. My lifestyle wasn’t good – I didn’t exercise enough, I smoked and drank too much and my diet was rubbish. But as soon as I got the diagnosis that all stopped.
“I got back on my bike again and kicked out all the bad habits. For me cancer isn’t about waiting around to die – it’s about living to the full, an attitude St Catherine’s Hospice really embrace. Every day when I go out on my bike, that’s what I’m doing.
“I hope my story might inspire others to think about getting involved and signing up for what’s sure to be a great event.”
He has already raised more than £4,000 for charity with his friends who are riding with him.
Their route takes them through the Fylde and Wyre Valleys on Sunday 18 May.
Mick is cycling for St Catherine’s after the care he received there.
He said: ““What really got me was how they treat you like a human being, an individual, which means a lot when you are ill – you don’t want to feel like just another number,” he said.
“At the same time, they are so professional – the medical care you receive is fantastic. Everyone – from the fundraisers and reception workers to the doctors and nurses – come together to make a real difference to the people they are looking after. I wanted to do my bit.”
Lynne Whittaker, senior fundraiser at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “Mick’s support over the past year and a half has been incredible, and we’re thrilled he will be taking part in the Big Charity Bike Ride again this year. He really is such an inspirational guy.
“We hope lots of other people in the local community will join him for the event. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist who can tackle the 50-mile route or a family who want to take part in our 20-mile loop together, it’s going to be a fantastic day – raising much-needed funds for a great cause.”
Mick and friends route is the longer of two routes which are being run by the St Catherine’s Hospice Big Charity Bike Ride.
The shorter of the routes is a 20-mile cycle starting at the Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Club and taking in the Guild Wheel.
Are you going to do the cycle ride? Let us know in the comments below