Cancer survivor completes epic walk from Oxford to Swindon for Radiotherapy AppealPosted: March 29, 2017
70-mile round walk for Brighter Futures
After weeks of training, recovering cancer patient Peter Mainwaring from Swindon, has completed a 30 mile walk from Oxford to Swindon in aid of Brighter Futures' Radiotherapy Appeal.
Peter (pictured, second from the right, with his family) knows
the 70 mile round journey all too well, after travelling to Oxford
for 37 days to receive radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer
at the end of 2016, celebrating his final treatment on New Year's
Over eight weeks Peter travelled 2,500 miles for treatment, which he believes only adds to the stress, anxiety and exhaustion which comes with a cancer diagnosis.
Peter said: "If we had a radiotherapy unit in Swindon it would have saved me an awful lot of travelling and precious time.
"Travelling every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10 November to the 1 January, I was reminded how rubbish the traffic on the A420 to Oxford is.
"Although the treatment itself did not take too long, there is understandably a lot of waiting around and the long journey really does take its toll.
"Luckily I didn't suffer too much from the side effects of radiotherapy which meant I was able to drive myself the majority of the time, but I can imagine how much more horrendous the journey would be for patients suffering badly.
"Having a radiotherapy unit in Swindon would have made such a difference during my treatment, not only for me but for my family.
"I'm supporting Brighter Futures' Radiotherapy Appeal as I know how much it will help other local families facing cancer.
"Thank you to everyone who has supported me and made a donation."
Peter's route included footpaths, bridleways and minor roads and took him a approximately 10 hours.
He was joined by a small group of friends and family, including his children, Kate and Neil.
The walkers set off at around 7am on Saturday 1 April from the
Churchill Hospital in Oxford, before heading along the Thames and
past the Oxford Brookes University campus.
Their route then took them towards Shrivenham and included a quick pit stop at Shellingford to mark the halfway point.
They continued towards Wanborough and reached the Great Western
Hospital at 6.30pm.
Peter has so far raised in excess of £7,000 thanks to sponsorship from friends, family, colleagues and employer Vodafone, which has promised to match the amount raised up to £350.
Thames Water supported the walk by providing bottles of water en route with North Swindon school Isambard loaning the team a minibus free of charge.
Peter was one of 700 patients who made the grueling 70-mile round trip to Oxford for radiotherapy treatment in 2016.
Brighter Furfures needs to raise £2.9 million to fund specialist equipment for a new radiotherapy unit at the Great Western Hospital, which will be run by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The appeal recently hit the £1.5 million half way point and has received a wealth of support from local organisations such as the Swindon Advertiser, Rotary Clubs, Stratton Sainsbury's and Swindon Will Writing, among many others.
Head of Brighter Futures, Catherine Newman, said: "It really is people like Peter who make a difference. It's about all pulling together as a community and bringing radiotherapy to Swindon.
"I wish Peter and his team the best of luck with his challenge on Saturday and encourage everyone to show their support. I hope it inspires other local people to take the plunge and start more fundraising challenges.
"Every penny you raise will help us bring this vital cancer treatment to Swindon, so please don't stop now and help us reach our £2.9 million target!"
To support Peter on his walk please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Peter-Mainwaring-Radiotherapy-Walk
Find out more about the Radiotherapy Appeal www.brighterfuturesgwh.nhs.uk