It’s a beautiful part of South West Wales and it’s clean, it’s quiet. There’s so much going for it and I love it. The views when the sun is shining, you can see for miles and miles and that’s the beauty of riding the bike, it’s not always fitness, it’s the beauty of the place.
(I was a) happily married man, three children, living a very happy average life and then I suddenly discovered that I had two malignant brain tumours and that was in May 2008, but then sadly in August 2008 I had another problem when my left foot went cold, and sadly I lost my left leg below the knee due to rare side effects of the brain cancer. Then I had to make a decision in my life to challenge this or to lie down and not challenge it and I chose to stand up and fight.
You learn a lot of truths about yourself, you learn a lot about your personality and also you learn a lot about yourself physically. When you’ve had a challenge in life that is life-threatening you have a new perspective of life and I realised with the cycling that there was a competitive edge to me which perhaps came from my determination to survive, to survive this illness, to survive the loss of the leg, to show others what you can achieve and what you can overcome.
When I took cycling up I could hardly get up the smallest hill and I thought to myself, make a decision and that decision was ‘yes – let’s overcome this hurdle’ turning all obstacles into positives. Cycling is now massive to me, it’s really important, I mean family is number one, will always be important but the cycling is second, it’s given me focus, it’s given me life, it’s given me ambition. I’d be doing things that I wouldn’t have dreamt of before, I probably wouldn’t have done before losing a leg and having brain cancer.
Deloitte Parasport has opened huge doors for me, they’ve given me a chance. If it wasn’t for Deloitte Parasport, I’d be ignorant to what’s out in the outside world to do with cycling. It is a freedom that I didn’t have before. This is the pluses I have taken out of my illnesses. For me to get the inspiration to do this, I looked at my family and (was) thinking, I want to keep looking at this family and learning that if I was to pursue the cycling more for my health then my future looks brighter.