Keith Bamber,63 from Newton-le-Willows, recently raised over £380 by taking on a three day 100k cycle challenge around Merseyside to raise money for the hospice which cared for his close friend Michael ‘Jacko’ Jackson.
Jacko sadly passed away in July 2018 after a long battle with cancer of the oesophagus . During that time he was admitted to Willowbrook Hospice twice for pain control and palliative care.
Father of three Keith said: “I’d been friends with Jacko for over 45 years and when he first went into Willowbrook, the consensus amongst family and friends was that he would not come out. But the hospice worked wonders with him and to our amazement Michael returned to us on both occasions looking like his old self. His quality of life was greatly improved and this was all due to the expertise and care of the staff at Willowbrook Hospice.”
“Taking on the cycle challenge was my way of thanking Willowbrook for all they did for Jacko – they were amazing! I know you can’t put a value on people’s lives but I know how much it costs to keep the hospice up and running so I decided to do ‘my bit’ to help them continue to care and support other people like Jacko. When I mentioned the challenge to Jacko’s son, Jason “Jay” he decided to join me on the route in memory of his dad.”
Keith and Jay took three days to complete the challenging – setting off from Jacko’s house in Wargrave along Sankey Valley, riding through to Spike Island then onto Otterspool Causeway, before headed into Liverpool to pick up the Liverpool canal route to his way back home to Newton-Le-Willows.
During the journey, the duo ‘wild camped’ at the side of the canal and also in the beer garden of the Scotch Piper pub in Lydiate, with the landlord even giving them a donation of £75 for Willowbrook.
Keith continued: “The journey wasn’t easy! I got a puncher along the way, my bag pack bracket snapped off the bike and Jay had to practically carry me on the return journey! But I’m pleased to say that we did it and every penny raised will go towards helping Willowbrook to continue to look after local people and their families.”
For more information on how you can support Willowbrook, please visit www.willowbrook.org.uk or phone 01744 453798.