Wanstead man with cancer to write ‘final chapter’ with bucket list

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 February 2015 | UPDATED: 12:14 10 February 2015

Frank Charles with his bicycle in Wandstead.

Frank Charles with his bicycle in Wandstead.


An ex-postman with cancer at a “very serious” stage has two more items to tick off on his bucket list.

Fundraiser Frank Charles, 51, from Wanstead, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma – a rare cancer affecting the immune system – wants to cycle the country, from top to bottom.

He plans to cycle from John o’ Groats at the northeastern tip of Scotland to Land’s End in Cornwall.

Tireless Frank also wants to make his Frank Charles Give a Gift Appeal – where he donates gifts to sick children at hospitals – a registered charity, which he sees as his “legacy”, after starting it 11 years ago.

The bucket list started after he was diagnosed with the stage four cancer in 2010, since then he has started the East London Food Bank, which he runs with his wife, he was an Olympic torchbearer in 2012, he won a trip to Las Vegas after appearing on Sky’s All Star Christmas Presents, he met Theo Walcott, he organised a Christmas party for disadvantaged families and continues to take presents to children at Whipps Cross Hospital.

Frank said: “I have had cancer for four and a half years and it’s very serious now. These were the two things I really wanted to do. Having chemotherapy has changed my life, it’s taken a lot out of me and I’m grateful for each day but now I want to set up the charity and focus on the bike ride – it would give me something to cling onto.

“I want to do something rather than just sit at home – this is like the final chapter for me.”

He added: “It’s going to be a lot of work and I know that it will be hard but this is something I want to do.”

The fundraiser started giving back after his 23-month-old son Ashley died in 1989 from Hirschsprung’s disease – a rare disorder of the bowel.

He said: “I survived it when I was young myself but my son didn’t – it was devastating, everything went in an instance.”

He added: “It’s about what you can do for others and losing my son really humbled me.”

Frank is looking for sponsors to back the summer bike ride.

Email Frank at to get involved and sponsor him.

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