In November 2016, Andy was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. Traditional NHS treatments have failed and we are now looking at funding treatments not available on the NHS, such as immunotherapy treatment.
Despite extremely gruelling months of chemotherapy and initially dropping from approx 15 stone down to just over 10, Andy has bounced back, regained half the lost weight and remains positive that we will find a cure. He still works when he is able and continues to be relatively fit and active. He has faced these health challenges with courage, dignity and humour…always with humour!
Andy has been a fanatical cyclist all his life and this high level of fitness has been vital in his ongoing battle with cancer. In the past he has taken on the challenge of the “Nutters Ventoux” and won….this is a challenge to cycle up the 3 routes of Mont Ventoux in one day; he has conquered Alp D’uez and he has completed “The Hell of the North” which is a cycle race following the Tour de France route from Paris to Roubaix, much of it over cobblestone. He also organises cyclocross races for all ages and has raised money for many charities, including McMillan Cancer Care, by undertaking many unique and daring cycling challenges.
In 2015, Andy bought a dilapidated house in Mid France, the realisation of a long held dream of his. Renovation work on the house has been delayed by chemotherapy and many hospital appointments but in July of this year, after being told that the 2nd, and final, line of treatment on the NHS had failed, Andy returned to France to begin work again. His determination, to see this beautiful 150 year old farmhouse restored to its former glory, is undimmed.
He is one of the most selfless people we know. His willingness to help others in any way has never faltered and he is always happy to assist anyone in need….on the weekend after one his last bouts of chemo, he loaded huge pallets onto his trailer to drop them off for a friend who had no means of moving them. Many forget that he has cancer as he is always so positive and good humoured. His very dry sense of humour is legendary and has not deserted him in the last months for a moment. His attitude has always been “I don’t know how I’m going to win, but I know I’m not going to lose.” The courage with which he has faced this challenge is awesome…..it’s the same courage that got him up Mont Ventoux three times in one day.
Andy is a much loved husband, father, step father, brother, uncle, nephew, brother-in-law, son-in-law, work mate, and friend to many.
Our family life is based on honesty, friendship, love, positivity, understanding and humour…above all. We are partners in crime. We have faced many things and have always faced them together, as a team….not least my own brush with cancer five years ago.
It would be a bleak future without Andy in it……so we are determined that this challenge will be faced and beaten too.
All funds raised which are not spent on treatment for Andy will be donated to OCHRE...this is a charity specifically raising awareness and money for research into cancer of the oesophagus.
- Stephen Williams
- Chris Staples
- Mervyn Thomas
- Cathy Oates
- Cathy Oates
Barns Green, South East England, United Kingdom