Dynamic duo cycle London to Brighton as Batman & Robin in tribute to Mum

  |  Published: Sep 18th 2015
Batman & Robin (Phil Smith & Paul Wheeler)
Batman & Robin (Phil Smith & Paul Wheeler)

Two friends performed a daring double act, cycling the 54 miles from London to Brighton dressed as Batman and Robin to raise funds for research into the cancer which killed “Robin’s” mother.  To date the dynamic duo have raised more than £1,000 for the pioneering UK charity Brain Tumour Research, based in Padbury near Buckingham.

Batman, Phil Smith, 44, from Aylesbury and Robin, Paul Wheeler, 41, from Aston Clinton decided to don their super hero attire to raise awareness after Paul lost his mother Lyn almost a year ago on 29th September. The 70-year-old resident of Croughton near Bicester passed away with a brain tumour, having battled cancer, for five years.

Paul, who owns his own business, Protea Print, explained: “It was devastating losing Mum.  She had originally been diagnosed with bowel cancer for which she had treatment and then a lump was discovered in one of her lungs.  Later, a slow-growing brain tumour was detected for which Mum had gamma knife surgery.  She made a steady recovery, only for other smaller and faster-growing brain tumours to emerge.

“Mum battled through so much, but eventually there was nothing more doctors could do.  The brain tumours affected her mobility more and more, as well as her ability to interact, until Dad, her sole carer, was really struggling even to lift her into a chair.

“A week or so after Mum went into Katherine House Hospice near Banbury she slipped away…

“I was really shocked to discover that research into brain tumours is so badly underfunded – just 1% of national cancer spend is allocated to this devastating disease, yet brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.

“I wanted to do something to make a difference and as my idea of relaxing is doing a bit of mountain biking, particularly in Wendover Woods, I signed up to do the London to Brighton.  My great buddy Phil, a close friend for 20 odd years, was keen to join me and dreamed up the dare to dress as Batman and Robin!

“We completed the distance in a little over four hours and seemed to be pretty much the only people stupid enough to cycle in full fancy dress!  We had a lot of laughs along the way and after finishing and being congratulated by our team of supporters which included my wife Michelle, Phil’s partner Sammie and family and friends, we raised a celebratory glass to Mum.”

Carol Robertson, Head of Community Fundraising at Brain Tumour Research, said: “Sadly, Lyn’s story is by no means unique and until we find better treatments and ultimately a cure for brain cancer, families will continue to lose loved ones, often well before their time.  We are so grateful to Paul and Phil for their fantastic help to sponsor vital research.

“We are striving to fund a network of seven dedicated research centres whilst challenging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in brain tumour research. Help us fund the fight. Together we will find a cure.”

To add your donation go to either www.justgiving.com/PaulDWheeler/ or www.justgiving.com/Smith-Philip/ or you can text donate BTUM50 and £2/£5/£10 to 70070.

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