A WIRRAL dentist is gearing up for a gruelling 100 mile cycle race along the Olympic road race route to raise money for a bowel cancer charity.

Dr Andrew Morton, from Templemore Road, Oxton, will be part of Beating Bowel Cancer’s team of riders for the Prudential Ride London to Surrey on August 10, led by team captain, TV personality and rugby star Matt Dawson.

They aim to raise a combined total of £120,000 to help support the charity’s specialist nurse helpline which provides vital support to patients and their families.

Andrew, who will be joining 24,000 cyclists for the challenge, said: “My father, Eric, who was also a dentist, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 1997 and very nearly died but happily he survived and is doing well. It was lovely to see him celebrate his 81st birthday in June.

“Many of his fellow patients were not so fortunate so I’m really keen to raise funds to go towards Beating Bowel Cancer’s vital work which supports patients and their families.

“I also want to help raise awareness of bowel cancer and the fact that it can be treated successfully if caught early like my father’s.”

Matt Dawson, patron of the charity Beating Bowel Cancer, said: “I’m so pleased that Andrew will be taking part in the Prudential Ride London to Surrey 100 challenge as part of my team. His father’s experience shows just how important it is for people to be aware of bowel cancer symptoms and to get them checked out as soon as possible.

“I know from personal experience that more needs to be done to help people get a diagnosis as early as possible, as my mother has successfully beaten the disease but my grandfather sadly died of it.

“Beating Bowel Cancer can only carry on its great work supporting patients due to the generous support of fundraisers like Andrew. His participation in the event will not only help to raise valuable funds for the charity but will also help to raise awareness of the disease. I wish him/her all the very best for the day.”

The road race starts at the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park, heads through central London and Surrey and includes the gruelling Box Hill circuit, before finishing on the mall.

People can sponsor Andrew’s fundraising effort at justgiving.com/Andrew-Morton4

Each year more than 40,000 are diagnosed with bowel cancer, but if caught early, more than 90% of cases can be treated successfully.

Beating Bowel Cancer advises people to go to the GP if they have any of the following symptoms for three weeks or more:

• A change in bowel habit
• Bleeding from the bottom or blood in your bowel motions
• Pain in your abdomen
• Lump in your abdomen
• Unexplained weight loss
• Unexplained tiredness, dizziness or breathlessness