West Lynn father joins friend to raise funds after cancer diagnosis
Juggling shift work as a police officer, running two football teams and having a shower refitted is time-consuming enough in itself.
But a 51-year-old West Lynn man is still finding the time to cycle at least 100 miles a week on top of this in order to raise funds after his best friend's wife was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.
Mark Mitchell has been cycling with his friend Andrew Dixon, 53, ever since they met through work in 2011.
The beginning of December saw Mr Dixon's wife Rachel, 51, diagnosed with cancer, which has spurred the two cycling friends on to raise a target of £50,000 in support.
More than £5,400 has been raised so far after an online fundraiser was set up on December 11.
Speaking ahead of cycling 47 miles on Monday, Mr Mitchell said: "Whenever someone says 'keep up the good work', I tell them I am not doing it to be a hero, I'm doing it to raise funds and won't stop until the target is met.
"It's been tricky juggling work with the cycling because I work shifts. I'll be working Christmas Day and Christmas Eve but I have booked some leave from Boxing Day onwards for eight days.
"Most of the rides have been virtual because I have not had a massive amount of time to do them."
Mr Mitchell recalls being reduced to tears after Rachel was diagnosed with cancer this month, which brought back memories of his father passing away due to throat cancer back in 2004.
Originally from Carnoustie in Scotland, Mr Mitchell spread his father's ashes on the famous championship golf course in the town. There is also a memorial bench on the 10th hole.
Rachel and Mr Dixon, who have a 14-year-old son called Arran, are both facing wage reductions because of sickness pay regulations at the moment.
But the two friends have thanked those who have generously donated so far as they cycle 100 miles a week, both on the road and virtually.
They previously raised £4,000 for Action Medical Research after cycling from London to Brussels back in 2013.
Mr Mitchell said: "I met Andy when I was working in custody and he invited me for a ride. I had a mountain bike at the time and we covered 22 miles. I realised I needed a road bike and I have not looked back ever since.
"He is from Wicken Green on the edge of Sculthorpe so we usually meet at the gates of Sandringham. We managed two rides together throughout the summer."
Both Mr Mitchell's sons, aged 11 and 14, enjoy their sport with their father finding the time to run two youth football teams, while also taking them to play badminton. The youngest represents Norfolk at his age category.
Regardless of how much he has going on in his busy day-to-day life, Mr Mitchell is determined to raise funds in aid of his good friend at a hugely challenging time.
To visit his online fundraising page, go to www.gofundme.com/f/donate-for-the-dixon-rachels-cancer-fight.