GREAT Western Hospital couple Dr David and Dr Lyn Williamson are facing their greatest challenge yet when they take on the Three Cities Cycle.
The couple, who are both consultants at the hospital and have practiced medicine for 80 years between them, are taking on the challenge to raise money for cutting edge breast cancer treatment, intra-operative radiotherapy.
The hospital trust’s charity, Brighter Futures, is trying to raise £75,000 to fund a year’s worth of the treatment, which could improve how 150 women in Swindon recover from the disease annually.
During four days in August the couple will take part in a challenge, which will see them travel from London to Amsterdam and on to Brussels in a 338-mile trip, with the aim of raising £1,500 each.
For consultant rheumatologist Lyn, the challenge will be a particularly tough one after a bike accident in the White Horse Challenge last year.
The 58-year-old said: “I think it is going to be quite a challenge for me because I came off my bike during a race last year.
“It was nobody’s fault – the inner tube burst.
“It took six weeks to recover but physically it was really hard because where I had built my fitness for the race it had all gone again.”
Lyn and David, who are already keen cyclists and go out at least once a week with the Faringdon based group Farcycles, will continue to build up their strength as the day approaches.
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon David, also 58, is looking forward to taking on the challenge.
He said: “It’s a lot tougher than anything we’ve done before. I think it averages out at about 80 miles a day of cycling.
“We had the tandem made about 20 years ago and it’s a far more social way to cycle than with a normal bicycle.
“It’s difficult to ride two abreast usually, but on a tandem you can talk to each other.
“There are a lot of treatments which aren’t funded on the NHS and it’s good to be able to support them. Some treatments, like kidney machines, start off as not being on the NHS and now they are standard practice today.”
The GWH would be one of only a handful of hospitals around the UK offering intra-operative radiotherapy, which zaps the area affected by breast cancer while still in the operating room.
To sponsor David and Lyn, you can donate through their fundraising page at www.doitforcharity. com/DavidWilliams or by going to www.doitforcharity.com/LynW
The future is brightening up
So far Brighter Futures has raised almost £10,000 for the breast cancer appeal, thanks to the support of hospital and Trust staff, as well as members of the public.
Jen Green, head of fundraising for Brighter Futures, is now hoping to get corporate support from local businesses.
She said: “We have had some lovely ideas from lots of people doing lots of different things, from cake sales to cycle challenges, and the support has been wonderful.
“What we really want to do is encourage businesses to help, perhaps by making us their charity of the year.”
To suggest your own fundraising ideas or get involved with existing events, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01793 605631. To donate to the Brighter Futures’ Breast Cancer Appeal, visit justgiving.com/brighterfutures3.