July 31 2014 Latest news:
Monday, June 9, 2014
A cancer survivor from Ipswich hopes to “repay his debt” to the nurses who cared for him during his time of need by travelling the length of the country - using only his bus pass.
Retired bomb disposal technician Roger Betts will be setting off from Land’s End next month on a five day bus journey terminating in Gretna Green – the furthest accessible destination on an older person’s pass.
The 67-year-old husband and father will be sleeping rough each night on beaches, canal towpaths and parks as he makes his way northward through the country’s interlinking bus routes.
He hopes to raise more than £1,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, which supported him during his radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments at Ipswich Hospital where he was diagnosed with throat cancer two-and-a-half-years ago.
“While I had cancer the Macmillan nurses were marvellous to me so this is my way of paying back a little bit of the debt I feel I owe them,” he said.
“They gave my wife and I care and understanding and explained things in a way that an everyday person could comprehend.”
The charitable adventurer has undertaken a number of daring challenges for good causes over the years, including a 2,400-mile walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back, a 4,500-mile cycle ride across Europe and a fire engine pull through Ipswich.
For his latest challenge, Mr Betts was keen to do “something different to capture the imagination” while encouraging more older people to make the most of their bus passes.
“Older people have paid for their bus pass all their working lives,” he said.
“Some people say it’s unfair we get free travel but, if you’re going to spend money on keeping older people healthy it’s better to give them something that will put a smile on their face and keep them active rather than a bucket of pills.”
To donate visit: www.justgiving.com/Roger-Betts1