A CYCLIST who qualified for the Commonwealth Games put his cancer treatment on hold to fulfil his dream.
Helmshore man Dave Readle has suffered devastating injuries and overcome adversity on his way to take up his place at the Commonwealth Games.
He joined team Northern Ireland to pilot visually impaired team-mate James Brown in the para-cycling discipline in last week’s event.
Working as a sports psychologist at Manchester’s Velodrome, fit the games around his commitments with a number of UK athletes.
The duo came fifth in the event in the Men’s 1000m Time Trial B2 Tandem, 7.317 behind victorious Scottish duo Neil Fachie and Craig Maclean.
Eligible to take up a Northern Ireland passport, the 34-year-old was delighted to make it on to the NI team for this year’s games as it represents a boyhood dream.
To take part he has had to suspend skin cancer treatment for a rare condition, typically only seen in 70 and 80 year-olds.
The treatment, which he has been told is ongoing for the rest of his life, involves removal of affected skin.
He said it was a chance he could not turn down, even if it meant putting back his latest treatment for ongoing skin cancer.
Dave said: “It’s definitely been a busy few weeks, both working and taking part in the games. It’s meant I have had to take a break from skin cancer treatment which involves the skin being cut.
“You can opt for radio therapy but I said I’d rather have the knife. Since it is a treatment that I will need forever, I decided to defer it. It’s for life - they said I was the youngest case they had ever seen.”
The Liverpool-born athlete was first close to qualifying as a shot-putter for the 2002 Commonwealths in Manchester when he ripped his pectoral muscle clean off his chest while bench-pressing.
He was delighted to finally get the call to take part in the games earlier this year.
He added: "For me it is more about being able to share and enjoy the Commonwealth Games with all the people who've helped and supported me and all the other athletes I've worked with over the years."