A BASINGSTOKE man who is undertaking a charity challenge to cycle 274 miles throughout August, has received a helping hand from friends after a fall threatened to hinder his progress.

As previously reported by the Gazette, Mark Watson from Hatch Warren was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour known as an acoustic neuroma (or vestibular schwannoma) and has been treated with radiotherapy.

To raise money for Brain Tumour Research, Mark set himself the challenge to cycle 274 miles during August.

However, his brain tumour has daily on-going effects, one of which is his balance. As Mark started out his challenge earlier this month, his balance issues caused him to have a fall whilst out on his bike.

Although the accident would have been minor to many people, the doctor advised Mark to perform a range of vestibular rehab exercises and only cycle outside when he has better control of his balance.

Undeterred by this, Mark is still committed to completing his 274 miles during August.

To help him along the way, his local cycling friends got together at the indoor cycling facilities at the Station Mill Health and Fitness in Alresford on Sunday (August 8) and Mark completed another 30 miles in a safe and motivated environment.

Mark said: “Having people to cycle with makes a huge difference. The staff at the Station Mill have been so generous and helpful.”

So far Mark has raised almost £1900 in donations.

He added: “I’m humbled at all the support for this charity ride. With my ongoing balance issues due to the tumour, it’s a genuine challenge. Thank you.”

With the support of friends and family, Mark has now cycled 150 miles, so he has 124 miles to go.

The target of 274 miles is because £274 represents 10 per cent of the cost of a day's research at one of the Research Centres of Excellence.

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.

To learn more or support Mark’s cause, visit: https://www.facebook.com/donate/932907763953685/