THEY were great friends at university but lost touch over time.
Now, more than 15 years later, Will Newham and Debbie Selam discovered they have been living down the road from one another in Huddersfield.
But following their reunion, Will was devastated to learn that mum-of-two Debbie is currently living with a brain tumour.
Inspired by her positive attitude to life, the dad-of-two is taking on a mammoth 200-mile cycling challenge to help raise funds for the charity that gave her ‘such fantastic support.’
Will said: “Debbie is truly an amazing person and her attitude to life and her tumour is something that should be admired.
“She has been to Parliament lobbying for more funding for brain tumour research, yet in a few weeks, she is having her tumour operated on while awake.
“Brain Tumour Research and Support across Yorkshire offered Debbie such great support after she found out about her tumour.
“And I’m delighted to be raising money for them.
“I work for npower and they run a £1 for £1 charity fundraising scheme, which means everything I raise in sponsorship will be doubled.
“I have currently raised around £750 so hopefully we will be able to give a donation of around £1,500, or hopefully little more.”
Debbie was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour in 2007 and in December 2010, she was told it had become high-grade.
She will undergo an awake craniotomy in August.
Will, 36, has been joined by two Penistone Grammar School friends Rich Hopton, 37, and Rich Lindley 37, who are both cycling in aid of different charities.
The men set off yesterday from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and hope to arrive in Edinburgh by Saturday.
The cycle ride which goes past the castles of the coast, will see them cycling around 50-miles a day and 60-miles on the final day.
Lepton man Will, who’s wife lived with Debbie at Preston University continued: “We have been busy training as we are all amateur cyclists but the weather has not been great.
“The last day is set to be quite bleak as I believe there isn’t really anything to look at for 40-miles of the journey but hopefully after that it’s all downhill in to Edinburgh.
“We hopefully will enjoy a nice drink before heading home on Sunday.”
Dalton mum Debbie is currently campaigning for more research in to brain tumours. To sign the petition visit:
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/35167 or to help donate to the cause visit www.justgiving.com/Will-Newham.