Gruelling charity challenge was a birthday to remember

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A cancer survivor spent his 43rd birthday on a gruelling cycle up the highest road in Portugal – but all in aid of a good cause.

Ian Hanson, took on the challenge last month after surviving nine months of intensive chemotherapy for testicular cancer in 1996.

He suffered scarring to the lung and lost a kidney before being given the all clear, but he was determined to complete the 400-mile charity bike ride from Lisbon to the Douro Valley.

Mr Hanson who lives in Bell Close, Cubblington, battled thick fog and driving rain during the challenge, and says he reached his lowest point as he neared the top of the Serra da Estrela mountain range.

He said: “I was on my own, I couldn’t see anyone in front or behind me, I was soaked to the skin and I was thinking, ‘What a birthday this is!’

“After the cancer, I felt indestructible. I decided that life was all about getting as many different experiences as possible,”

The ride raised £2,000 for Aylesbury’s PACE Centre, which helps children with cerebral palsy and their families.

And on October 18, Ian and his band, The Spokes, will play a gig to riase even more cash for PACE at Wingrave Village Hall. To donate visit