A cancer survivor is set to cycle through Bassetlaw as he helps raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Paul Whymant, 64, is combining his two interests, poetry and cycling, and is taking one of his poems, Red Leather Yellow Feather, to 35 cancer hospitals and centres all around the UK and his route will pass through Bassetlaw.
Paul was diagnosed with bladder cancer at the age of 60.
He underwent surgery and chemotherapy and then three years of immunotherapy treatment.
Paul says he feels privileged to be alive after a three-year battle against cancer and now cancer free, he is determined to give something back to those who helped him through what he describes as ‘a journey through a tunnel’.
Paul’s journey will take him two months and he will travel through Yorkshire, the Midlands, East Anglia, London, the South Coast, West Country, North West, North East and Scotland to deliver and he will read his poem at each location.
Paul said: “Cancer is such an emotional journey. It deeply affects families and friends as well as the patient, sometimes even more.
“For me, poetry is a release, freedom, contentment. We can all write, no special skills are required, it’s simply a matter of putting your heart onto paper. More people should try it, they will love it.
“After three years of cancer treatment, I’ve come through the tunnel.
“So many people helped me along the way; so many people were walking through the same tunnel with me, and some never came out. This is my chance to give a bit back.
“I feel privileged to be alive. I feel privileged that treatment was available to me, privileged that the NHS, despite its problems and pressures, was so positive. And free.”
As well as raising money through sponsorship, with all monies going to Macmillan Cancer Support, Paul wants to encourage other cancer patients, their families and friends to write a poem and submit it to his website - an anthology of selected poems will then be published with, again, all proceeds going to Macmillan.