Friends set to take on 100-mile challenge

James Barker with Wigan Athletic players
James Barker with Wigan Athletic players
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A group of friends are set to take on a 100-mile cycle challenge this weekend to raise awareness of testicular cancer.

James Barker, from Hesketh Bank, had a cancer scare last year and since then he has been determined to raise funds to help others.

The 26-year-old described it as “one of the scariest times of my life”, as his family had history of the disease.

He was later given the all clear, but said: “At this point I looked back at myself to think how selfish I had been throughout my life.”

James said: “I then came to think what I could do to try and make a change not only to myself but others around me and also take something positive from this.

“So I decided I wanted to host a charity event in aid of testicular cancer.”

On Sunday, he and three friends will cycle 100 miles from Darlington to Hesketh Bank.

They began training in December last year, since which time James has gone from 20 stones down to 17 stones.

He said: “We’re all raring to go now and ready for it.

“I’m a little bit nervous, but so far we have raised more than £900 and we are looking to raise more than £1,000.”

James and his friends are raising money for Balls to
Cancer. He said: “I thought the charity was a bit different and I wanted to raise money for something that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.”

He said he cycled past Preston’s Race for Life on a test ride at the weekend and he said: “I was feeling a bit tired but it spurred me on seeing all those people.

“It was unbelievable - it’s great to see so many people running and spreading awareness of it.”

James, a Wigan Athletic fan, will set off with his friends on Sunday morning and is aiming to complete the ride in about seven hours.

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