A MAN who fought cancer is preparing for a major cycle ride fundraiser – at the age of 82.

Lifelong rider Brian Graham, who has been hailed as an 'inspiration', is cycling 311 miles from London to Paris to raise money for the medical centre that looked after him during his treatment.

His journey starts on Wednesday, September 12 in London and finishes under the Arc de Triomphe four days later.

Former soldier and construction company owner Mr Graham, who lives in Maiden Newton with wife Anne, used to reside in North Yorkshire where he learnt he had cancer.

He said: “I went on my bike to the doctors for a blood test. At 3am the next morning I had a phone call from hospital staff who had assessed my readings. They told me to immediately get up, drink strong tea and eat toast and get to my doctors first thing… I had suspected bowel cancer and it was pretty bad. I was referred to Airedale Hospital where it was confirmed, and I was fast tracked for treatment.”

He added: “I was fit and healthy. I cycled, played tennis and had a good diet but I had this large tumour that needed to be removed.”

Mr Graham went through a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy to shrink the tumour before having part of his bowel removed.

Whilst in recovery, he learnt about the new Magnetic Resonance (MR) Simulator for Leeds Cancer Centre and decided he wanted to raise money for the project.

Following research he chose to do the London to Paris ride, an organised event with medics and support.

Mr Graham uses a stoma bag and the company which supplies them, Medilink – part of Salts Healthcare – heard about his story and decided to sponsor him.

He received a cheque for £500 from Salts staff at the Bournemouth centre.

Medilink Bournemouth Dispensing Care Centre Manager Gill Waller said: “Brian is an inspiration. When we heard about his trip to Paris we had to support him. His life story, how he overcame the cancer and his general positivity towards life and the people around him just puts a smile on your face."

Mr Graham said “I know I’ll be OK, I’ve trained hard. I know down below will be OK too, I’m positive about that. I just don’t want to hold everyone up.”

To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/brian-graham3