Shrewsbury Man To Cycle 103 Miles In Memory Of Aunt

A Shrewsbury man is set to take on a 103-mile cycle endurance race in memory of his aunt, who died this summer from pancreatic cancer.

Chris Wilkinson, 33, will take on Anglesey’s Tour de Mon sportive with three friends on Sunday 17th August 2014.

In June this year(2014), his aunt Christine Goodwin, from Newport, passed away following a seven-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She was just 54.

The disease is almost always fatal, with just a three per cent survival rate and is the only cancer that has seen no improvement in survival rates in the past 40 years.

This is due to a lack of any effective screening process and the ambiguity of early symptoms - often even a lack of any symptoms at all until the cancer is at an advanced stage.

Mr Wilkinson’s uncle, Tony Goodwin, has pledged to raise £10,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Trust following his wife’s death.

Despite being a keen mountain biker in his youth, Mr Wilkinson has only recently taken up road cycling and has been training up to five times a week for the challenge.

“I wanted to do something to help my uncle towards his £10,000 target, which is why I am taking part in the Tour de Mon around Anglesey,” he said.

“I have never been an endurance cyclist or racer so it’s going to be a tough challenge but not as tough as what my aunt had to go through in her final months.

“If anyone can spare even a few pounds to help us reach Tony’s goal, it would mean so much to all of us.”

Mr Wilkinson will compete alongside two Stoke-on-Trent work colleagues, Matthew Wheat and Jeremy Porter, and childhood friend Mark Fras, also from Shrewsbury.

Pancreatic Cancer research gets just two per cent of total cancer funding due to its relative rarity when compared to other cancers. In context, 22 per cent of total cancer deaths in the UK each year are from lung cancer. 10.3 per cent from bowel cancer, 7.7% from breast cancer and five per cent from pancreatic cancer.

Mr Goodwin, from Newport, said in a tragic twist, his wife’s mother had died of the same disease back in 1982 at the age of 60.

“Christine was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the day after bonfire night last year and was told she did not have long to live. It had spread to her liver and lung and the doctor’s words were ‘you need to be with your family’,” he said.

“She fought very hard and battled many additional complications, including a stomach bypass.

“Her happiest moment and her final tick list item was receiving in her final hours the news that our son Daniel had achieved a 1st class honours degree in Graphic Design and Illustration. She was so very, very proud of him.

“Her loss has devastated us as a family and I want to help stop others from going through what we have done this past few months by helping fund the research into this killer disease.”

Mr Goodwin has set up a Just Giving page, www.justgiving.com/christinesandragoodwin and has already raised £1,280.

Anyone who wishes to sponsor Mr Wilkinson in his cycle challenge can do so through this page.

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Pete White Pete White

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