Menu Donate Request our help

Helpline: 0300 102 1919

RAF serviceman to complete 100-mile charity cycle challenge after cancer battle

RAF Serviceman Flight Lieutenant Will Doward, is gearing up to complete this year's Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, after being forced to pull out of last year's event when he was diagnosed with cancer.

Will Doward thumbnailWill Doward in his RAF Benevolent Fund cycling jersey

Now on the road to recovery, Will is fit enough to be taking part in this year's charity ride, in an effort to fundraise for the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF's leading welfare charity.

Will Doward, from Reading, is currently serving at RAF Honington. Though thrilled to be on the road to recovery, the last year for Will has been anything but easy.

After noticing that he was struggling to keep up with the pack during training sessions, he finally went into hospital after experiencing severe shoulder pain.

He later found that the pain was a result of an enlarged spleen, which was at this point on the verge of a rupture. After rigorous tests, Will was diagnosed with a blood cancer known as chronic myeloid leukaemia.

Fortunately for Will, 26, his age has given him a much better chance of recovery, with the average age for this type of cancer diagnosis being over 65.

After a year of targeted chemotherapy medication and treatment, Will is now on his way towards a brighter future, and a continued life in the RAF.

Will said: "It's been a crazy year, and to say I'm back at work now and only going to hospital once every two months, down from once a week, really shows how far I have come.

"I am excited for this challenge, and proud to be supporting the RAF Benevolent Fund. I was extremely lucky that in my worst months my ward compensated parking, and so travel costs were limited and we managed enough to get by.

"Although I didn't ask the RAF Benevolent Fund for help, knowing that they were there for my family and I in the case that we did, gave me absolute reassurance.

"Should there be someone in need of assistance, I want to help support the people that will help them."

The 2019 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 will take place on Sunday, August 4 in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, following a 100-mile route through the capital and into Surrey's stunning countryside.

Lisa Hunt, Regional Fundraiser at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "It's incredible to see Will jumping back into this challenge, and we are very glad to see that he is on a clear road to recovery.

"We exist to help all members of the RAF Family, people like Will, to ensure that they are aware that we are there to support them, should they ever need us."

You can show your support by donating to Will's fundraising page.

Sign up to receive the RAFBF e-newsletter