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RAF serviceman to cycle 100 miles following cancer diagnosis last year

PUBLISHED: 16:23 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:23 01 August 2019

Will Doward, a flight lieutenant based at RAF Honington, will take part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday Picture: RAF BENEVOLENT FUND

Will Doward, a flight lieutenant based at RAF Honington, will take part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday Picture: RAF BENEVOLENT FUND

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A Royal Air Force serviceman is gearing up for a popular 100-mile cycle ride after he was forced to pull out of last year's event when he was diagnosed with cancer.

Will Doward, a flight lieutenant based at RAF Honington, near Bury St Edmunds, will take part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday.

Mr Doward, from Reading, will raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund following his diagnosis last year.

It has been a difficult year for Mr Doward, who is now thrilled to be on the road to recovery.

After noticing that he was struggling to keep up with the pack during training sessions, the 26-year-old finally went into hospital after experiencing severe shoulder pain.

He later found that the pain was a result of an enlarged spleen, which was at this point on the verge of a rupture.

After rigorous tests, he was diagnosed with a blood cancer known as chronic myeloid leukaemia.

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A year of targeted chemotherapy medication and treatment followed and Mr Doward is now on his way towards a brighter future, and a continued life in the RAF.

He said: "It's been a crazy year, and to say I'm back at work now and only going to hospital once every two months, down from once a week, really shows how far I have come.

"I am excited for this challenge, and proud to be supporting the RAF Benevolent Fund.

"I was extremely lucky that in my worst months my ward compensated parking, and so travel costs were limited and we managed enough to get by.

"Although I didn't ask the RAF Benevolent Fund for help, knowing that they were there for my family and I in the case that we did, gave me absolute reassurance. 
"Should there be someone in need of assistance, I want to help support the people that will help them."

Lisa Hunt, regional fundraiser at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "It's incredible to see Will jumping back into this challenge, and we are very glad to see that he is on a clear road to recovery.

"We exist to help all members of the RAF Family, people like Will, to ensure that they are aware that we are there to support them, should they ever need us."

Anyone wishing to donate can visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/william-doward

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