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Alderford grandfather fundraises for charity, after daughter’s diagnosis

PUBLISHED: 09:22 08 May 2014

Cycle swarm. David Heywood at Monday's event: Submitted

Cycle swarm. David Heywood at Monday's event: Submitted


A 70-year-old grandfather of three cycled 70 miles to raise money for brain tumour research and support.

David Heywood's daughter Caroline: Submitted David Heywood's daughter Caroline: Submitted

David Heywood, from Alderford, near Reepham, joined about 700 others on the ‘Norwich Cycle Swarm’ on Bank Holiday Monday.

He took up cycling again six years ago and is aiming to raise £500 for The Brain Tumour charity by taking part in a series of events throughout the year. He has already raised £275.

He decided to raise funds for the charity when he discovered last December that his daughter Caroline, 33, had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Mr Heywood, who is a part-time lecturer in trade union studies, said his daughter was due to have an MRI scan yesterday, which will indicate the extent to which her treatment so far has been effective.

He said: “I rode the 70-mile course with three others supporting the charity and we completed in five hours, averaging 14 mph; as this is the longest ride I have done I was pleased to have maintained my normal average.

“We rode from Carrow Road football ground out to Wroxham, Sea Palling, Happisburgh, Mundesley and North Walsham, and the weather was good.”

More than 9,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year and brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40, yet less than 2pc of cancer research funding goes on brain tumours in the UK.

Mr Heywood said he was shocked to discover that figure, and added: “I want to make a difference by raising money for this vital charity.”

The charity is, however, this year investing £2.5m in world-class, pioneering research across the UK.

Louise Taylor, the charity’s director of fundraising, said: “We are extremely grateful for all the efforts made by our fantastic fundraisers and wish them all the very best.

“We receive no government funding and rely 100pc on voluntary donations, so it’s only through the efforts of people like David that we can change these shocking statistics in the future and bring hope to the thousands of people who are diagnosed with a brain tumour every year.”

Mr Heywood is riding 35 miles in the Reepham Sportive on Sunday, May 11, to raise more money for the charity.

He has three children, Elise, 42, Caroline, 33, and Robert, 27, and three grandchildren Lula, seven, Monty, six, and Elsie, two-and-a-half.

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