A PERSONAL trainer who was left paralysed after being diagnosed with cancer has set himself the challenge of cycling the distance of Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for charity.
Neil Vines, 21, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment, is using a static bike at his home in Gloucester to complete the 600 miles over the next few months.
He aims to complete five to 10 miles a day depending on how well he is feeling and has so far raised £450 for The Teenage Cancer Trust and the Brain Tumour Charity.
“It is very difficult because the cancer makes me very tired and I don’t have much energy,” said Neil, who was a personal trainer at DW Sports before he was diagnosed.
“But it is for a great cause and I will keep going. The Teenage Cancer Trust has done so much to support me and my family.”
Neil, whose cycle marathon effort is supported by his brother Adam, pictured, was told he had a brain tumour which had spread to his spinal cord in August 2012.
He underwent brain surgery but by September pressure in his spinal chord stopped the movement and feeling in all four limbs.
Surgery relieved the pressure on his spine and, after chemotherapy and radiotherapy, he got the all clear in April 2013.
“Throughout these very difficult months my main goal was to walk again,” said Neil, who studied sports coaching at Hartpury College. Due to sheer perseverance I achieved that goal by taking my first steps unaided in July. I worked my way up from having started in a wheelchair to a walking frame, crutches and then unaided.”
However, the cancer returned six months later and Neil is currently undergoing more treatment. He had stereotactic surgery over Christmas and is taking oral chemotherapy.
“The tablets make me very weak,” said Neil.“This is a personal challenge to prove that cancer doesn’t stop people doing things.”
To sponsor Neil go to virginmoneygiving.com/Neil_Vines