Wigan father and son take on 'death slide' for charity

Dean and Len Horrocks
Dean and Len Horrocks

A Wigan father and son took on the world’s fastest – and Europe’s longest – 'death slide' for charity.

Len and Dean Horrocks joined more than 20 other people at Zip World in Penrhyn Quarry on Velocity 2 - whizzing through the air above breathtaking views at speeds of more than 100mph.

And it was for a cause very close to the pair’s heart: Lymphoma Action.

Len has hairy cell leukaemia – a type of lymphoma that develops from B lymphocytes (white blood cells that fight infection) and can affect the blood – and he is a member of Lymphoma Action’s Wigan Support Group.

He and Dean were joined on the zip line challenge by his Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) at Whiston hospital, Ruth Jackson.

Len said: “I had a proper adrenalin rush about half way through. Everything seemed to be in slow motion - although in reality I was moving very quickly at this point!”

Karen Bonell, North West Regional development manager for Lymphoma Action, said: “Lymphoma Action Support Groups welcome anyone affected by lymphoma and any other blood cancer.

“We have invited speakers, information and discussions. They are warm and friendly and a great place to meet others with similar experiences.”

Many of the “zippers” have seen first-hand the positive impact a Support Group can have on someone living with lymphoma.

Among this year’s participants were other CNSs like Ruth, who support patients with lymphoma; other Lymphoma Action Support Group attendees like Len, and family members of people with lymphoma like Dean.

They all have one thing in common: they want to ensure that everyone affected by the condition has the best possible information, support, treatment and care.

With a new case being diagnosed every 27 seconds in the UK, lymphoma is the fifth most common cancer.

It affects the infection-fighting cells of the immune system and it’s a complex condition with over 60 sub-types.

It can be hard to diagnose because the symptoms – a lump in the neck, armpit or groin; feeling exhausted for no reason; unexplained weight loss; night sweats; itching without a rash – can often be confused with other health issues.

Lymphoma Action is the only UK charity dedicated to the condition and relies on the generosity of people like these brave zippers to keep supporting people living with lymphoma. Len has raised more than £500 so far.

If you’ve been affected by lymphoma and would like to find out more about Wigan Support Group, contact Karen on 07710 393 891.