A Fylde charity worker’s brave double battle against cancer has inspired his father and brother to take on Britain’s ultimate cycling challenge – a gruelling ride from Land’s End to John o’Groats.
No sooner had Jak Ford, from South Shore, overcome blood cancer than he faced a diagnosis that the disease was affecting his bowel.
But the 30-year-old has now returned to work after successful treatment and is building his strength back up.
And his plight has inspired dad Trevor and brother Daniel to push themselves to the limit to show their gratitude for the care and attention Jak received which has helped him get on the road to recovery.
Builder Trevor, 53, from St Michael’s and plumber Daniel, 32, who lives in Poulton, have long enjoyed cycling as a hobby but the 874-mile ride is by far their toughest test yet – and they hope to provide a considerable cash boost to cancer research by the time they complete the ride, set for next Thursday.
The pair set out 10 days ago and are to cycle the length of the country.
“I am so proud of them,” said Jak. “They were so determined to do something to help cancer patients after what happened to me.
“They have targeted completing the ride in 14 days after building up to it for ages with longer and longer rides.
“I would love to have joined them, at least for part of it, but I am still too weak for that but getting stronger all the time.
“I am so grateful for all the support I received during my treatment and the support dad and Daniel have had during the ride has been brilliant.
“They hope they can raise plenty for a cause which is so close to all the family’s hearts.”
Mum Heather is a key member of Trevor and Daniel’s support team, while Jak said the family was especially grateful to Tony Banks of Blackpool Promotions, which runs several hotels in the resort, for supplying the support minibus for the trip as well as funding accommodation at the overnight stops on the journey.
“Everyone has been brilliant from when I was diagnosed,” said Jak.
“My friends and family and my bosses and colleagues at United Response have been amazing and the nurses at Blackpool Victoria haematology unit were wonderful.
“Such great support from everyone really does help so much.”
Jak, a former student of Highfield School who is a support worker with the United Response charity in South Shore, was diagnosed with blood cancer in December 2015.
The bowel cancer diagnosis followed a year later and required radiotherapy and chemotherapy before he was able to return to work late last year.
The Help Beat Cancer-Wyre fundraising group has been providing regular updates on Trevor and Daniel’s progress during the charity ride on its Facebook site.
Spokesman Jean Horner said: “It’s a wonderful effort and all credit to Jak’s dad and brother for their determination to raise money for such a good cause.”
For more details about Trevor and Daniel’s ride and to donate, visit www.justgiving.com/companyteams/FordFamily