RAF veteran with terminal cancer fundraises while doing chemotherapy

Torbay Weekly

A 63-year-old RAF veteran from Paignton is walking and cycling 200-miles in support of the RAF Benevolent Fund, a charity close to his heart, while undergoing treatment for stage 4 bowel cancer.

Terry Butcher served in the RAF from 1976 to 2005 but continues to wear a uniform as a Flight Sergeant with the RAF Air Cadets.

Terry was diagnosed with cancer and began chemotherapy and radiotherapy in January 2019.

Later that year he had a large tumour and his large intestine removed, leaving Terry with a permanent stoma. This was followed by another round of chemotherapy which unfortunately set off a stroke and diabetes, affecting his memory and speech.

By September 2020, Terry’s cancer was stage 4 and affecting his lungs and liver. His scans showed 27 tumours but after six months of treatment these had reduced significantly, and in January 2022 he began chemotherapy once again. The RAF Benevolent Fund supported Terry following his diagnosis by providing an orthopaedic bed, e-bike, and wheelchair, and the charity will soon be funding a new riser-recliner chair, too.

Terry said: “When I had the stroke, I realised I needed to do something about my fitness and in 2021 I started walking and cycling to raise money for a handful of charities. I took a short break but now I’ve started walking and cycling again with an attempt to cover 200 miles whilst undergoing the chemo. This could take up to seven months as I get tired and it’s quite cold at this time of year!

“The RAF Benevolent Fund was there for me in my hour of need, so I felt obliged to try to repay this by raising money for and awareness of the charity. Donations from friends and families have kept me motivated and helped maintain my positive approach to life, showing that a cancer diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end of your life – in fact, it can be a new start.”

So far, Terry has raised more than £300 for the RAF Benevolent Fund. You can support him by donating to his fundraising page: justgiving.com/terry-butcher7.

The RAF Benevolent Fund supports serving RAF personnel, veterans, and their families, when they need it most. The Fund provides financial, emotional and practical assistance to help people live with the dignity and independence they deserve.

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