Doncaster cancer patient Martin Astill saw a dream come true – when he took part in a mod style scooter ride.
Vespa and Lambretta riders all came together and responded to the call for help from Doncaster Cancer charity The Eve Merton Dreams Trust after it heard Martin, aged 46, had dreamed of taking part in a Quadrophenia style scooter convoy.
Martin’s lifelong dream was to be a part of a mod group, sit and ride on a Vespa or Lambretta and hear the noise of the engines from a group riding through town.
The charity’s vision for the day was of dozens of scooters riding down Martin’s street in Dunscroft and riding away with him on the back of a Vespa.
But the scooter world had bigger plans, and scooter groups from surrounding areas joined together to make a convoy of 300 riding through Doncaster.
Martin’s wife Tracey liaised with Sarah Maye, the charity’s dreams co-ordinator, during secret meetings at work.
How amazing is it so many strangers I’d never met have done something like this for meMartin Astill
Tracey said Martin’s illness was diagnosed last year.
She said: “It all started towards the end of last year in November.
“We were sat eating dinner after a 12 hour shift when Martin started violently choking. At the time we put it down to him just shovelling it in, as you do, because he was starving.
“We went away on holiday and by the end Martin was reduced to a liquid diet as he could no longer eat.
“On returning home Martin was booked in for a gastroscopy where the doctor discovered ‘a highly suspicious malignant tumour’ later to be diagnosed as cancer of the oesophagus.”
After the diagnosis, Martin started chemotherapy in January.
One of Tracey’s work colleagues told the charity about his scooter dream.
Martin was told he was going to a Christening, but he was greeted at his home by a scooter and a photographer, before climbing aboard the back of the bike and making the short trip to Dunscroft Welfare Club where another 300 scooters were parked up waiting for him.
Martin said: “I will remember this for the rest of my life.
“I just keep repeating thank you because how amazing is it that so many strangers I have never met have done something like this for me?”