Man's fundraiser after friend's wife diagnosed with terminal cancer

Left side is a husband and wife smiling with their teenage son. Right is two middle aged men wearing bike riding equipment...

(Left) Andy Dixon with wife Rachel, and son Arran. (Right) Andy Dixon and Mark Mitchell during a sponsored bike ride. - Credit: Mark Mitchell

A Norfolk police sergeant has pledged to cycle 100-miles a week to help raise money for his best friend’s wife after she was diagnosed with cancer.

Mark Mitchell from King's Lynn has started ‘Rides with Rachel’ for his friend Andy Dixon’s wife, Rachel who was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

Her prognosis is just 12 months and when Mr Mitchell heard the news he said he was reduced to tears.

Mr Mitchell, a police sergeant, met Andy nine years ago when he worked as a custody sergeant in King's Lynn.

The 51-year-old used to bike to work and started chatting with Mr Dixon about bikes and he invited him out for a ride.

From there, the pair formed a strong friendship.

They also rode bikes to raise money for charity. In 2013 they travelled from Stratford in London all the way to Brussels and raised £4,000 for Action Medical Research.

Two men wearing crash helmets and bike gear smiling for a selfie.

Andy Dixon and Mark Mitchell would ride their bikes together across Norfolk. - Credit: Mark Mitchell

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“With the prognosis, this could be their last Christmas together,” Mr Mitchell said.

“That’s not being dramatic, that is the reality of the situation.

“If they want to do something as a family I want them to be safe and secure in knowing they have the money and they will not have to worry about how they will survive when they get back.”

Mr Mitchell launched a Gofundme page for the family and has promised to cycle at least 100 miles a week both on the road or virtually.

Along with Mr Dixon, they would ride the North Norfolk coastline together, but they no longer can. Instead, the pair have been doing virtual bike rides with one another.

He hopes to share these routes with others online shortly.

Man leaning next to his bike and smiling

Mark Mitchell a police sergeant from Kings Lynn has started ‘Rides with Rachel’ to raise money for Andy Dixon and his family. - Credit: Mark Mitchell

He was inspired to help as he lost his father to throat cancer back in 2004 and wanted to make sure the support was there for them.

“I never got to do anything for my dad, being so far away, that sticks with me,” he said.

“I know my mum did not have the support from anywhere else apart from the Macmillan nurses.

“There is no financial support, so I thought it would be nice to take away that financial pressure.

“That was the reason I wanted to take that pressure away and help them to try and enjoy life as a family before anything else and be free of any sort of other anxiety.”

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