Burnley couple to take on world's fastest zip-wire for lymphoma charity
With Peter Gibbings having being diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) in 2009, him and his wife, Linda, are gearing up to take on the adrenaline-inducing Velocity 2 at Zip World at Penrhyn Quarry in North Wales, having come across the concept at their local Lymphoma Action meeting at Asda in Colne, which they have been attending for the past four years.
Keen to give something back to the Lymphoma Action (the UK's only lymphoma-dedicated charity despite it being the fifth-most common cancer), the couple agreed to tackle the world's fastest zip-wire, which reaches eye-popping speeds pacy enough to rank it as the world's third-fastest roller-coaster, near the Welsh town of Bethedsa seven miles to the South East of Bangor.
No strangers to charitable causes, Peter and Linda have previously taken part in a underwater relay scuba-swim covering the combined 5.5 miles of Coniston Water for charity and completed a gruelling coast-to-coast cycle for their cancer support group, but were looking to do something more extreme this time out.
"We read so much about other people doing things, so we though why not do something ourselves," said Peter (66) ahead of the challenge, which takes place this Saturday, May 19th, with his wife, Linda (also 66) adding: "We decided we wanted to give something back and [raise] awareness of the support groups around our area."
Despite being diagnosed almost ten years ago, the former lorry driver Peter only started receiving treatment for his lymphoma in 2016, having being placed on an Active Monitoring 'watch and wait' list for seven years, which is standard protocol when lymphoma does not require immediate treatment, but which Peter describes as "nerve-wracking."
After Peter began Chemotherapy, him and Linda - a former civil servant with the Department for Work and Pensions - found out about Lymphoma Action through the Macmillan Cancer Support website, with the Higherford-based couple - married for the last 43 years - attending group meetings every two months ever since.
"[Lymphoma Action] were brilliant and the organiser, Karen Bonell, was extremely professional and offered us both emotional support and steered us in the direction of clinical support," explained Linda. "They're a fantastic group who have helped many people through a hard journey with cancer treatment and side-effects.
"They enabled us to have access to conferences held by professors, nurses, and psychologists in the field who explained the effects and new drugs, treatments, and clinical trials on offer," she continued. "This gave us great insight of Peter's condition and what the future held as far as treatment was concerned."
Peter, who said he took the Chemo well, added: "We get on well [with other people at the group] and meet up with a lot of them to swap stories and go to conferences on lymphoma together - there's so much information, it's really interesting.
"It's just a great group," he said.
To make a donation to Peter and Linda's cause, head to their JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/linda-gibbings.