Man’s mountain challenge raises £23,000 for centre in memory of late wife
A Beccles man who climbed three mountains and cycled over 1,200 miles in the space of two weeks, has raised £23,000 for the treatment centre that cared for his late wife.
Ian Eaton embarked on the challenge last summer in memory of his wife Joe, who died of ovarian cancer after a 12-year battle.
And this week the father of two has donated the cheque for £23,310.79 to the Sandra Chapman Centre at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, to help other cancer patients.
The challenge saw the 38-year-old cycle from Suffolk to Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon – climbing all three mountains along the way.
Mr Eaton said: “I am blown away by the amount we have raised. I feel quite proud.
“I set myself a target of £2,000 so we have done more than 10 times that.”
Mr Eaton set off on his adventure on July 18, and returned back to Beccles on August 1 last year.
He said: “After I lost Joe I wanted something to focus on.
“So I used cycling to help me and I thought I would try to turn it into something to raise money for the Sandra Chapman Centre.
“Physically it was tough but mentally I knew I had to keep going.
“There were so many people following me on social media who I didn’t want to let down, so I knew I had to do it.”
Mr Eaton was accompanied on his journey by his mum and dad and 16-year-old son Josh who also joined in the with mountain climbs and some of the cycling.
“It was amazing to do it as a family.” Mr Eaton said. “When we were stood together at the top of the mountain it felt like we were close to Joe.
“People still talk to me about it now. It is something I will remember forever.”
The money was presented to staff at the Sandra Chapman Centre on Tuesday and will be used to buy two pieces of equipment.
Jeremy Rake, part of the acute oncology service at the centre, said: “We are in the process of buying a blood analyser which will mean that when people have their bloods done we won’t have to wait to get the results back from the lab. We can do the test on-site and get the results in a couple of minutes.
“It will improve our ability to give high level care, reduce the waiting time for patients and allow us to give the appropriate treatment much quicker.
“We are also buying a scalp cooling machine which stops the chemotherapy getting to the hair follicles and reduces or stops hair loss. This will be particularly good for ladies having treatment for breast cancer.”
Mr Rake extended his thanks to Mr Eaton and his family for all their efforts.
He added: “Everybody at the Sandra Chapman Centre knew Joe and we were very fond of her. She was incredibly dignified, patient and always asking about others.”
Mr Eaton would like to thank everyone who has supported him, old friends and new, along with his parents and children.
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