A West Norfolk train driver will be going to the dogs next week in order to help fund life-saving cancer surgery for a close friend.
But, instead of trying to pick the right trap, John White will walk between two of Britain’s best-known greyhound racing venues to raise money towards the £50,000 medical fees.
Mr White, who works from the Lynn station, will be walking to support his friend Mitch Millward, who was diagnosed with cancer of the liver, bile ducts and pancreas earlier this year.
Mr Millward underwent a nine-and-a-half hour operation at the weekend to remove the cancer, along with more than half of his liver, part of his pancreas and the bile ducts.
But the surgery was carried out at the St Olaf’s private hospital in London because it is not available on the NHS.
Mr White, from Terrington St Clement, explained that, although doctors were pleased with the operation, his friend will need medication for the rest of his life to replace the organs that were removed in the operation.
He said he and his wife, Maria, were among many friends who had dug deep into savings to ensure the operation could take place and give Mr Millward the best possible chance of survival.
“We’ve given him money we haven’t really got. We’ve given £1,000 which is our household budget for the month,” he said.
“We plea for the general public to join in and be part of the wonderful experience of directly trying to save a fantastic human being’s life.”
Mr White, alongside another friend, Roy Swaby, is planning to walk from the Romford Greyhound Stadium, which is Mr Millward’s local track, to the Wimbledon stadium, a distance of around 20 miles, next Friday, November 6.
The Wimbledon track is home to some of the sport’s biggest competitions, including the Greyhound Derby, Puppy Derby and St Leger.
And Millwards Teddy, a dog jointly owned by Mr White and Mr Millward, won a first round heat of the St Leger at Wimbledon on Saturday, the day of Mr Millward’s operation.
The second round race is due to take place this weekend and Millwards Teddy is rated by bookmakers as one of the favourites to win the £25,000 first prize in the final next month.
And Mr White said: “It would be something for the pot.”
Around £15,000 has already been raised since the fundraising campaign began this week.
Anyone who would like to donate can do so online at https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/john-white