Doncaster man sets sail on charity boat trip

NDFP Kevin Duckham sets off on his narrow boat.    On the Boat Kevin Duckham, Kayla Mead.  From to Back Buster the dog, Hilary Varley, David Varley, John Rayner, Trisha Silvers, Pete Cayger
NDFP Kevin Duckham sets off on his narrow boat. On the Boat Kevin Duckham, Kayla Mead. From to Back Buster the dog, Hilary Varley, David Varley, John Rayner, Trisha Silvers, Pete Cayger
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A Doncaster man who has terminal cancer has gone back to nature and set sail across the country’s rivers and canals.

Kevin Duckham, from Intake, was given the devastating news that he had stage four lung cancer – the most advanced form of the disease – just three months ago.

Shortly after his diagnosis, he visited Strawberry Island boat club on Milethorn Lane with a friend where he saw a narrow boat called Daydream for sale.

“I knew that if I got back to nature it would make me feel better,” said Kevin.

“I’s always wanted a narrow boat, but I never thought it would happen. I put in an offer for Daydream and I was amazed when it was accepted.

“It’s given me a project, I refuse to sit in a chair and worry about this situation, I just want to enjoy the quality time I have left.”

Kevin took ownership of Daydream on August 16 and soon after decided to organise a charity voyage.

“If I find this so therapeutic in this situation – then I thought some other people may do too.

“I’ve had some good life experiences and I can’t complain about things, but there will be some young people who haven’t and I wanted to offer them some respite time.”

Kevin decided he would take Daydream on a journey along the country’s rivers and canals, offering to take palliative care patients with him.

He started his journey yesterday – his 61st birthday – at the boat club.

Accompanying him is his partner of 26 years, Kayla Mead, aged 56. The pair were waved off by friends and family.

During his journey, Kevin will also raise money for various palliative care providers.

“I will be raising money along the way, but I didn’t want to just give it all to one place,” he said.

“I wanted it to flow with the journey, so along the way I will look up places to donate to.

“I will also be getting in contact with these places to ask them if their patients would like to spend an afternoon on the narrow boat.

“I am in contact with Tickhill Road Hospital and am hoping to arrange to have my first passengers soon.”

The journey will take the couple through Thorne to the Keadby juntion, where they will join the River Trent and travel south to Bristol.

If you would like to donate, you can contact Kevin via e-mail at kevinduckham@yahoo.co.uk