FORMER Chatteris Town goalie Ian Edmonds and his nephew Ben Collett are hoping to turn pedal power into pounds this summer when they undertake a major cycle ride in aid of charity.
Father of two Ian (48) (pictured right) wants to raise as much cash as possible for Addenbrookes Hospital while Ben (24) (pictured left), who is the current Chatteris Town goalie, is doing the London to Paris ride in aid of bowel cancer.
Ian wants to thank Addenbrookes Hospital for the treatment he received after suffering years of pain as the result of surgery on his right knee.
He explained: “I injured my knee when I was 22 and I suppose I aggravated it over the years with all the sport I played. I played football for Chatteris and cricket for Manea.
“In 2001 I started to have real problems and had an operation but it didn’t work and I ended up having seven more keyhole operations before finally having a knee replacement in 2005.”
But things went from bad to worse and despite the new knee Ian, who is married to Alison and has two grown-up daughters Leanne and Hayley and two granddaughters, underwent a further five operations.
“Eventually I had had enough and asked to be referred to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. I had six months of being monitored for pain and to see exactly what the problem was and then in April 2010 I had my final operation.
“Thankfully that worked and I have been right as rain since,” explained Ian, who was advised to take-up cycling to strengthen the joint and keep fit.
“Cycling is the best exercise as it doesn’t have any impact on my knee,” said Ian, who was forced to give up work and was on incapacity benefit while he underwent treatment.
“It was absolutely horrendous. I couldn’t work and eventually I had to give up my job. I couldn’t get much financial help and we ended up having our home repossessed. Alison became depressed because of everything that was happening and the mess we were in through no real fault of our own,” said Ian.
But thanks to the expertise of the Addenbrookes’ surgeon Ian has been able to put his life back together and has since launched his own under-floor heating business.
And he now wants to say thank-you to the Cambridge hospital for helping him turn his life around.
“Without the expertise of that surgeon, I might never have got my knee sorted out. I would probably still be living in pain and unable to work. I want to raise money for the Addenbrookes Charitable Trust which deals with all donations to the hospital. You can choose where you want your money to go and I have nominated the orthopaedics department,” said Ian.
Ben has chosen to cycle in aid of Bowel Cancer as his girlfriend Louise Marsh’s father has suffered the disease.
Ben and Ian have been training for months and are well on the way to being ready for the four day, 300-mile ride in June.
They will be riding up to 78 miles a day to reach Paris in four days. They will set out from London on June 27.
Both have set up charity pages through Justgiving. To sponsor Ian visit: www.justgiving.com/ian-edmonds2012 and for Ben visit: www.justgiving.com/ben-collett or call 01354-669201.