Father to cycle over 600 miles in memory of son lost to lymphoma

David Kinniburgh on Finchingfield Green.

David Kinniburgh on Finchingfield Green. - Credit: Archant

A Finchingfield father who lost his son to lymphoma is cycling across Britain in a bid to raise £1,000 for charity.

David Kinniburgh lost his stepson, his wife Joyce’s son Paul Crommie, to lymphoma at the age of just 32, three years ago.

“We couldn’t believe it – we had a very fit and healthy son,” said David, who has lived in Finchingfield for the last 14 years.

“On New Year’s Eve, when he was 29, we got a call about the blood test and he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma soon after that.

“It was a terrible, malingering end, and I would wish to reduce the chance of anyone else having it.

“Of course we aren’t going to eradicate it, but every little helps.”

The 66-year-old will be cycling the ‘Side to Side’ route, from Lowestoft, the easternmost point on the UK mainland to the westernmost, Ardnamurchan Point Lighthouse in Scotland – a distance of more than 600 miles.

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“It’s done in Paul’s memory. He was such a nice man and he did so much for young people,” said David of his stepson, an actor who lived in Glasgow and worked with schools on theatre projects.

In May 2013, David and Joyce climbed England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, with 15 others, many of them Paul’s friends, raising £4,000 for Lymphoma Research Trust. About 10,000 people in the UK develop a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma each year – the seventh most common type of cancer in the UK.

“We’d like to raise funds for research into the prevention of the disease rather than the cure,” said Joyce, 63.

“Paul was really outgoing, he had so many friends. From a very young age he just wanted to be on stage, I remember seeing him at Harlow Playhouse, playing Hedda Gabler’s husband. He was really good – he got a standing ovation.

“When he was ill he couldn’t do the leaping around on stage that he used to. He started to do a bit of directing for the same company, which he was really good at.

David added: “Last time there were 17 of us. This time it’s just me – there’s no back-up. I’m just an elderly bloke trying to do a bit of good for a good cause.”

David will set off on April 12, staying at youth hostels along the ride, which is estimated to take up to six weeks to complete. To help him reach his target of more than £1,000, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/davidkinniburgh