FRIENDS of a Scarborough man are within touching distance of raising the £20,000 needed to pay for his life-changing operation.
The marker continues to rise in aid of Save Sam’s Spine, the fundraising group set up by friends of 28-year-old Sam Rhodes, who was diagnosed with prolapsed cervical discs two years ago.
Following the huge success of a sponsored fancy dress bike ride last month, where £2,500 was added to the pot, friends continue to raise awareness for the operation urgently required to give Sam his life back.
Two years ago Sam learnt that he needed an operation on his neck to relieve his agonising pain, but was refused surgery by NHS surgeons in Sheffield, where he was a student.
Instead he was prescribed painkilling drugs which have now caused other health problems.
After a visit to a private orthopaedic surgeon Sam discovered he was willing to operate, at a cost of £20,000.
The total raised so far stands at £18,100, leaving only nearly £2,000 to raise in order for Sam to be able to pay for the procedure.
Lifelong friend Joel Mcdermott plans to cycle from London to Scarborough this month in the latest fundraising event.
Sam said: “My amazing and lifelong friend Joel has kindly, insanely and most severely presented me with a crazy notion to help raise money for my operation.
“This will be an epic battle, a test of one man’s mettle as he meditates on life and rudimentary notions, slowly progressing up the country, rubber against road, human passion vs people’s hubris, the struggle between the elements and the earth.”
Setting off from his house in Crystal Palace, London, on April 11, and arriving at Sam’s house in Scarborough two days later, Joel intends to cycle the whole distance with a back-up team of two friends, ensuring his safety and progress.
Through doing this he hopes to continue to raise even more money and bring even greater awareness to the Save Sam’s Spine group.
Joel said: “I love the guy so I’m going to get saddle sore, sweat buckets, sleep on the roadside and eat flapjacks all day long for three to four days and travel across the country on my bike to see his lovely face.”
Another fundraising event will be a gig night, which is being held at Fibbers in York.
The event is described on its Facebook page as: “A night of awesome music to raise some money for an awesome guy”.
The night will include music by six different bands including pop punk band The Lock and Keys and the acclaimed blues artist Tom Townsend.
It will take place on May 15.