A fighting fund has been set up for a man who has spent years helping others in Dunstable.
The fund was set up by Helen Mead, 50, for her friend Pete Hilliard, 55, of Capron Road, following his third diagnosis of cancer in 18 months.
She asked him what his ambition for the future was and was shocked when he replied, “I would love to climb Machu Picchu in aid of Macmillan who have supported me so well. Unfortunately I cannot raise the funds to be able to train for it.”
From that conversation,Helen, of Sundown Avenue, started Pete’s Fighting Fund to raise money so he could fulfil his ambition.
She said: “When I was 14 my father, who was a driving instructor, was diagnosed with cancer.
“The one thing he always said was that he wanted to teach me to drive, which was three years away from when he was first diagnosed, but that aim gave him something to fight for, and he achieved that goal and taught me to drive when I was 17.
“Pete and I have the same sense of humour, so when I found out that he had been diagnosed with cancer, I sent him a message saying he could not leave yet as he had to teach me how to play tennis.”
Last September Pete encouraged Helen to get on the tennis court.
He has been actively involved with Dunstable Tennis Club over the years, keeping active and talking to people over the nets has really helped him over the last few months, so much that he has also initiated a Disability Sport Programme there.
Pete said: “I think the fund is a brilliant idea, it is good to see so many people around me who want to support me.
“It will be a great challenge and will hopefully get a lot of money for Macmillan who have really supported me and others who are going through the same thing.
“The money raised from the fighting fund will go to Macmillan and towards getting me fit enough to complete the challenge and paying for it.
Pete has his eye on four further goals once Machu Picchu has been conquered.
He wants to visit the Great Wall of China, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, complete the Nepal train in the Himalayas and cycle from Vietnam to Cambodia.
He added: “If you give me a challenge I will rise to it and try to complete it, because of what I have been through, I know that you cannot take any day for granted and you have got to get ou there and try to achieve the goals that you set.”
The Silver Fox Benefit is being held at The White Swan, High Street South, on Saturday, May 2, where Pete holds a regular pub quiz.
Helen is also planning to cycle from Windsor race course to the city and back again at the end of the month.
She is also hoping to organise a charity football match and a tennis tournament in June.
Helen said: “In my opinion he is an inspiration, no matter what he is going through he always wants to make sure other people are okay, he holds groups together.”
If you want to donate any prizes for the raffle or auction contact Helen on firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Pete’s Fighting Fund, visit: www.facebook.com/groups/545273865610665/?fref=ts