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Bike challenge in tribute to Alan Bishop from Hunton who died 39 days after being diagnosed with cancer

By Claire McWethy

A dad who died just 39 days after being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer is to be remembered by loved ones who never got the chance to say goodbye.

Alan Bishop, known by friends as the “Mayor of Hunton” for his community work, was just 62 when he passed away in October.

Now his family have arranged to pedal from London to Paris in a fundraising tribute to the keen cyclist.

Alan Bishop (right) who died of cancer just 39 days after being diagnosed

Mr Bishop, a planning consultant who lived in The Square, had come down with what he thought was a chest infection in September.

It emerged that his lungs had filled with fluid and when they were drained, a scan picked up a cancerous lump on his kidney.

His daughter Ellen Huelin, said: “He was always fit and healthy but over the course of a year he said he had a virus he just couldn’t shake.”

“He was always fit and healthy but over the course of a year he said he had a virus he just couldn’t shake.” - daughter Ellen Huelin

But as he was about to start chemotherapy his lung collapsed, and he died shortly afterwards. The cancer spread from his kidney to his lungs, ribcage and liver within just a fortnight.

The 30-year-old, from Freshland Road, Maidstone said: “It was just such a shock to find out the cancer was terminal.

“We knew the chemo would only help to prolong his life but we thought he had at least a year. It just happened so quickly.”

Mr Bishop had been chairman of the Hunton village hall committee and regularly helped to organise music events around Kent.

Now his daughter and nine friends and family will be undertaking a gruelling 178-mile bike ride, over four days from Tuesday, July 29.

Among them are Ellen’s husband Kirk, 33, sister Sian Bishop, 28, and her father’s partner Maryjane Stevens, from Maidstone Road in Marden.

Ellen Huelin and husband Kirk ahead of their charity bike ride in tribute to her dad

Ellen continued: “Dad was very giving and loved the outdoors and cycling. I only bought my bike three weeks ago so I’m a bit nervous but know I’ll complete it because I’m determined to.

“It is a way to say goodbye because we didn’t get the time to say everything we wanted. It will be emotional but a nice way to take away a positive memory of him, not just to remember him dying.”

They are hoping to raise £5,000 for Cancer Research UK and the Heart of Kent Hospice.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/kirkandellen or www.justgiving.com/sian-bishop

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