One short life can change others

Jack Godfrey is rather a remarkable young man.  Like any other 21 year old, he has his dreams and aspirations, hopes and fears, but this Shipton resident is probably unique among Wychwood’s youth.  At first glance, nothing is different, nothing unique or of note, and that is how it should be, but Jack has a brain tumour, an unseen disease eating into his life.

As a pair of twins alongside Megan, Jack’s early years were unremarkable, but the tumour was diagnosed when he was just ten years old and his life thereafter changed totally.  Treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy were enormously draining, disrupting his entire lifestyle, resulting in three years of missed schooling but thanks to this treatment he was gradually able to resume part-time schooling and, following on from school life he spent three further years at Witney College developing his life skills.  Throughout it all, Jack was positive, always positive, a smile never too far away or that distinctive machine gun laugh.

Aged 19, another change took place that would have floored many sufferers: a lesion was discovered and before long he was suffering up to seven seizures a day, each one lasting up to 11 minutes.  His eyesight was narrowed, giving him tunnel vision, and his mobility was greatly impaired.  Jack continued to take advantage of life’s opportunities, moving on to daily attendance at the Star College above Cheltenham, a specialist facility that expertly meets his needs.

But through Jack’s life runs an enormous determination to support others who have to face similar situations.  Alongside friends at the College, he has set himself the challenge of riding and walking 500 miles, a feat that would be beyond many readers. Jack is recording all distances covered around the kitchen, into the garden and around the cul-de-sac on his new and proudly owned bike, a folding tricycle provided by Cycle for Cancer in Stony Stratford.  Firmly seated and belted in, Jack rides this bike with confidence and pleasure, clocking up the miles.

Why does he do it?  Quite simply to support a charity, Blue Skye Thinking, whose strapline provides the title to this article, a charity devoted to progressing research, campaigning for better data collection and providing well-being projects for families in hospital.  Already this new charity has raised well over £200,000 to meet these aims.

And how does he do it?  With courage and a smile on his face, Jack Godfrey is an inspiration to all those fortunate enough to know him.

To make a donation to this charity and encourage Jack in his efforts, please contact https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jack-godfrey3

Bob Forster

October-November 2021