Father’s cancer diagnosis inspires son to cycle from London to Paris for charity

Andrew Wells, his father Ian, and two of his team-mates: Neil and Andy

Andrew Wells, his father Ian, and two of his team-mates: Neil and Andy - Credit: Archant

Some years ago Ian Wells, of Lakenham, used to go on long-distance bike rides with his son, Andrew. They completed a London to Brighton cycle race and the Norfolk 50, all raising money for charity.

So in 2013 when Mr Wells, now 70, was diagnosed with the blood cancer myelodysplastic syndrome, and then leukemia this past March, his son, now 40, reacted in the only way that made sense.

Andrew made a cycling team with three friends - Jamie Lockart, Neil Davies and Andy Verney - to complete the long trek from London to Paris and raise money for the cancer charity Bloodwise.

The charity Bloodwise, formerly Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, funds research and seeks to raise awareness about blood cancer.

When Andrew told his father his plans, Mr Wells was overcome.

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'I was so touched, it actually brought a tear to my eye. I met all of his mates doing the challenge with him and it's a fantastic gesture. It goes to show how important family and friends are in a time of need,' Mr Wells said.

Andrew's 300-mile cycling ride will be from Crystal Palace in southeast London to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and takes several days. The team plans to leave next week on September 15 and complete the challenge on September 18.

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Mr Wells said the entire community has rallied around him since his diagnosis.

'The generosity of friends and family has been fantastic; other groups like the Wyndham Golf Society have raised money as well. I have received wonderful care at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital - we are very fortunate,' he said.

To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Andrew-Wells6.

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