A Leamington finance director who has survived testicular cancer is cycling more than 4,000 miles to raise funds for orphans in Uganda.
Martin Haywood, who turned 50 in January, was diagnosed just ten days after his twin children were born in May 1998 and soon after, underwent an operation and intensive radiotherapy.
But after six years of check-ups and blood checks, Martin was discharged.
He said: “Initially I felt in complete shock. As a father and husband, your first thought is providing for your family whatever happens. I realised how we often take our health for granted.”
But 18 years on and Martin, who is finance director of Detroit Electric UK Limited in Leamington, is as fit as ever and has been training to cycle the equivalent distance from Leamington to the NOTDEC orphanage in Uganda, where around 140 children are cared for.
Martin is involved in the UK branch of the charity through St Paul’s church in Leamington. He said: “People from St Paul’s often visit the orphanage. After one visit, one of the children said ‘perhaps one day someone will give us some football kit’ – and my heart strings were tugged and hooked. I am hoping we can get some donations of football kits before the ride concludes.”
Martin will begin his ride on April 29 in Northamptonshire and will cycle 400 miles per week for ten weeks - on early mornings, evenings and weekends to fit around his job - travelling around the Midlands and further afield. He is also planning a ‘Dad and kids’ ride along the Stratford Greenway on May 21 in the hope that he will be joined by fathers and their children who will help to raise further funds.
Evans Cycles in Leamington is supporting Martin by maintaining his bike for the ten-week period.
To find out more about Martin’s ride and to sponsor him, visit www.execlounge.com/notdec4000_theride