A dad of five who planned his own funeral after being wrongly diagnosed with cancer is raising money for a charity which supported him during his darkest hours.
Rick Barton, who also cares for nine-year-old stepson Archie, believed he had two years left to live after incorrectly being told by his GP he had liver cancer in June just six weeks after son Joey was born.
The civil servant from Fletton had even told his devastated family the bad news and began taking his children out every day to places such as Dinosaur World and Pinewood Studios to enjoy their last days together.
But four weeks later the 43-year-old received the incredible news from his specialist that the 65mm tumour in his liver was in fact benign and nothing sinister.
For Rick, the reprieve was a mixed blessing after he had detoxed his diet and prepared himself mentally to fight the cancer with absolutely everything he had. “I was not very happy, I did not react with joy,” he said. “I was so positive in fighting this cancer I had nothing to focus on.”
The incorrect diagnosis followed blood tests and scans after he had complained of feeling lethargic.
The news that he had cancer did not hit him straight away, but he admits partner Donna Beddows (36) was an “emotional wreck” after he told her what had happened.
After checking out his prognosis through Google Rick was certain he did not have long left so he decided to spend as much time with children Joey (now six months), Archie, Louie (3), Georgia (1), Ricky (16) and Billy (17).
Rick had even planned for ‘Just a Dream’ by Nelly and Faithless ‘Insomnia’ to be played at his burial.
It was at this time that Rick and Donna contacted Macmillan Cancer Support separately to seek reassurances.
Rick said: “They just give you facts and tell you your chances. They were amazing.”
As a ‘thank you’ Rick is now preparing for a charity bike ride with 10 other amateur cyclists from Peterborough Cathedral to the Skegness Clock Tower.
Rick said: “When I realised I had not got cancer that’s when I decided to give something back. Donna ran every day in September and inspired me.”
While in Skegness the cyclists and guests will have a charity night which Rick hopes will take donations above the £6,000 mark.
The event will bring a positive end to what has been a terrible time for Rick who added: “What I’m worried about is if they had given someone not so mentally strong the same news.
“Some people might go and blow their fortunes, split up with their partner or even kill themselves.”
To donate to Rick’s ride visit https://www.justgiving.com/Rick-Barton.