BEN Lindon knows a thing or two about defying the odds.
The 37 year-old, who grew up in South Warwickshire, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008. Since then he has undergone approaching 100 chemotherapy treatments, and is believed to be the youngest person in the country to survive so many.
He was also told he would never have children. He has since fathered two healthy offspring – Martha Rose now four, and two year-old Sydney.
And a year ago the former Observer journalist was unable to speak, walk, or even eat after suffering increasingly severe seizures.
Ben was rushed to Worcestershire Royal Hospital. Ben suffered a seizure which lasted 35 minutes leaving his brain starved of oxygen. It was touch and go whether Ben would pull through, but the fighter in him pulled through again. He remained in hospital for ten weeks, and as soon as he was discharged he was back in the gym.
And once again Ben has flown in the face of medical opinion and battled his way back to “full” fitness with the help of intense physio, a personal trainer and sheer determination.
Not content with that, he is now getting on his bike to ride 1,000 excruciating miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise further funds for Brain Tumour Research, and for Evesham Community Hospital, which have given him so much support.
Ben has previously completed the Three Peaks Challenge in 2013 and the London Marathon in 2014, but was obviously too ill to take on a fund-raising challenge last year, but is determined to make up for it when he sets off from the north of Scotland on September 25. He is hoping to cover 100 miles a day and complete the challenge in ten days.
He will be joined on his latest challenge by his close friend, Dr David Williams, who was Ben’s GP when he lived in Shipston, and was first diagnosed with the tumour.
Ben, who now lives in Malvern, said: “My inspiration through all this is knowing how lucky I am. I was told I couldn’t have children after aggressive radiotherapy and having to continue chemotherapy for the rest of my life. I have been blessed. I have a beautiful daughter, and a mischievous son, and I’d like to show them that ordinary people like me can overcome anything if you fight.
“We desperately need to find more effective treatments and ultimately a cure for brain tumours which kill more children and adults under the age of 40, yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. Selfishly, I want to stay around to see my two amazing, adorable children grow up.
“I am keen to continue to my pledge made back in 2013 to raise funds for pioneering national charity, Brain Tumour Research by doing something every year until I’m broken. I’ve ran marathons and climbed mountains for this charity and I will continue to do so until I can no longer.
“If you can leave a legacy, this is mine. I think it’s worth 1,000 miles of bad weather and a very sore bum!”
Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ben-Lindon4 to support Ben’s latest challenge.