Wesham man cycles Lancashire Mind’s 600 Mile September Challenge after life-saving surgery
A man from Wesham is cycling 600 miles this month to raise money for Lancashire Mind so that other people can access the services he was unable to when he was most in need.
Lancashire Mind’s 600 Mile September Challenge encourages supporters to cycle, run or walk 600 miles in one month to raise vital funds, but while most people complete the challenge in
teams, Gareth Millar, 38, is taking it on by himself.
Gareth, who is originally from Northern Ireland but has lived in the area for 20 years, said: “I had life saving surgery just over two years ago which left me needing a colonoscopy bag at the
age of 36.
“There was no help available to deal with it mentally, so I don’t want anyone else to be in that position where there’s no help available to them.”
“And obviously with the Covid situation, there’s loads of people struggling with their mental health.”
In 2019, an undiagnosed condition caused Gareth’s bowels to burst, which led to him contracting sepsis, and being told he would die without surgery. The operation left him with a
colonoscopy bag, and Gareth says he was unable to access any support to deal with the toll of this.
Gareth, a sales director at GB Enterprise Solutions, explained: “That really mentally affects you, living life with a colonoscopy bag, and making noises you have no control over, especially
when you’re in business meetings.
“But no funding was available for people who weren’t cancer patients, so despite having the same operation as someone with bowel cancer, I didn’t get any NHS funding.”
This 600 mile challenge will be Gareth’s first time fundraising for Lancashire Mind, and he is already off to a flying start, having cycled 10 per cent of his goal in his first day.
Gareth added that “it’s hard to get the word out there” about his campaign.
He said “any donations whatsoever” will be greatly appreciated.
To donate to Gareth’s challenge, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Gareth-Millar2