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A moving thank-you to hospital staff

PUBLISHED: 22:55 20 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:08 03 March 2010

LAST year Barry Andrews was at death's door - he never dreamed that today he would be able to organise and take part in a 30 mile bike ride to raise money for the hospital that saved his life.

LAST year Barry Andrews was at death's door – he never dreamed that today he would be able to organise and take part in a 30 mile bike ride to raise money for the hospital that saved his life.

When the 59-year-old, from Nacton Road, was diagnosed with bowel cancer he said he had given up hope.

On New Years Day 2001, he technically died and was brought back to life, but now the former bricklayer is able to make the most of what he has been given.

So far he has around 60 people taking part in the July bike ride and depending on the Blues' hectic schedule, players from Ipswich Town could also be joining the crowd of cyclists.

But according to Barry it is the more the merrier and he his hoping lots of our readers will join the ride to raise as much money as possible.

Any money raised will be put towards the Bobby Robson Jubilee Appeal and the man himself has even written a letter to Barry, who has been a Blues season ticket holder since 1969, in support of the ride.

The Jubilee Appeal was launched earlier this year by the League of Friends to raise £55,000 to buy new equipment for consultant, Huw Davies, who Sir Bobby credits with saving his life by diagnosing him with cancer in 1995.

Barry is so much of a Blues fan that he has even got all the players to sign the bonnet of his car. That car is then going to be auctioned on a special website that is being set up for Barry. The money from the auction will also go to the fund.

As well as raising money for the hospital, another aim is to raise awareness of bowel cancer and urge people to go to the doctors rather than being embarrassed about their problem.

For Barry, it was a lifesaver and he puts the fact that he went to the doctors, down to another famous football man – Bobby Moore.

Barry said: "I read Bobby Moore's book and it said not to be embarrassed about your condition.

"You might have a few days of embarrassment but you are a long time dead."

He may not be out of the woods yet and will not know for the next couple of years whether the cancer has completely gone, but Barry has so far made an amazing recovery.

Last year, despite being in immense pain, Barry managed to raise more than £2,000 for the hospital by arranging a country and western concert.

Barry is now focusing on the bike ride around east Suffolk where he will be riding tandem, dressed as Winnie the Pooh and his co-rider, Phil Moore, will be dressed as Tigger.

The ride will take in Nacton, Levington, Newbourne, Martlesham, Woodbridge, Hasketon, Great Bealings, Playford and Rushmere, with a stop at five pubs along the way!

Anyone who wants to take part in the race on July 21 or sponsor Barry should call him on 01473 431202 or Josie, on 01473 421169.

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