‘I hate being told I can’t do something’

RIDING HIGH: Brendan Wren will cycle 360 miles in three days to raise money for repairs to his church's roof.
RIDING HIGH: Brendan Wren will cycle 360 miles in three days to raise money for repairs to his church's roof.

A man who overcame two life-threatening illnesses in the space of a year will ride 360 miles in three days next month to raise funds for his church.

Brendan Wren, 29, from Minsmere Way, Great Cornard, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in September.

After treatment and then surgery in December, he was given the all clear, only for further tests to show he had thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura or TTP.

The rare blood disorder, which causes plasma to become poisonous and form small clots throughout the organs, affects less than 80 people in the UK and can be fatal if left untreated.

Mr Wren underwent a full plasma transfusion in January, which looks to have beaten the illness, and is now training hard for the symbolic journey, starting on May 30.

“I hate being limited and told I can’t do something,” said Mr Wren, who was also told by doctors he could be wheelchair-bound by 25 after injuring his spine and skull in a fall at work, aged 18.

“The route starts at Penygroes in Wales and goes along the Brecons, across to Gloucestershire, through to Luton and south to London before finishing at Living Waters Fellowship Church in Sudbury on June 1.”

The journey follows the spread of the Apostolic church, of which the Living Waters Fellowship in Gregory Street is a member, from its birthplace in Penygroes across the UK.

“I will do about 80 miles on the first day, as much as 160 on the second and the remaining 120 on the last day,” he said. “It will be between eight and 12 hours cycling each day.”

He hopes to raise around £5,000 to help fund much-needed repairs to the leaking church roof as well as raising money for research into treatments for TTP.

Peter Avery, pastor at the church which has around 40 members, will join Mr Wren’s father Mick in a support car.

He said: “It is amazing that we have got someone who is willing to do this.”

Mr Wren, who has two daughters, Rachael, seven, and Hannah-Fay, four, with wife Charlotte, has completed several charity cycles in recent years and volunteers as a caretaker at the church.

Go to www.livingwatersfellowship.org.uk to make a donation.