David Tuttlebee (who had a beach hut, and regularly windsurfed, at Hayling Island) had a tumour removed from his Bowel in May 2006, whilst undergoing an emergency operation for Appendicitis. He needed a second operation a week later to seal his bowel and then had 10 days in intensive care units. Colon cancer was confirmed and chemotherapy was undertaken for the following 9 months. He was not allowed to get the "groshong line" (surgically fitted to his artery vein in his chest) wet and also could not undergo physical movements in case it was dislodged.
David was a keen windsurfer but also played a lot of tennis and skis. He had 12 months "out of sporting action" due to the treatments/recovery of health/muscle strength.
He travelled every weekend to Hayling to watch his colleagues windsurfing (despite not always feeling/looking that well) and often rigged sails on the shingle. Part of his "therapy" was to buy/sell kit at the Hayling windsurfing monthly jumble as he wanted to set himself up with updated boards and sails in wave, speed/slalom, freeride and formula categories ready for his return to the water.
He had been a participant at the annual "Weymouth Speed Week" and, even though between his fortnightly (administered over 3 days) chemotherapy treatment, he helped in the registration/administration office in the October of 2006.
He remained positive throughout and received a lot of support/encouragement from his friends and family but they all new that deep down he was often not feeling as well as "portrayed". To ski before the end of the 2006/7 season was his first priority once the treatment finished with back on the water and tennis court the first week of May 2007 being the second/third aim.
All three were achieved and his strength and abilities improved during the summer months. He helped again in the registration office at Weymouth speed week 2007 and was once again a participant.
He went skiing three times in the 2007/8 winter season and also windsurfed and played tennis throughout the winter, giving him a great boost into spring and summer of 2008. Effectively he looked and felt strong and had enjoyed being back to his sporting interests over the 18 months (after the "year out") leading up to speed week on the 3rd October 2008.
He had attended regular meetings with his surgeon when his blood tests were fine. He had clear scans in March and July 2007 and an ultra sound on his kidneys and bowel in February 2008 was clear. A further scan was scheduled for mid September 2008 but feeling and looking strong David just thought it to be routine.
David was a reader of the Cancer Research UK quarterly bulletin and read of other sufferers doing sponsored "runs, walks, climbs or rides" but he did not wish to train for something out of his normal body strength.
In early September 2008 he thought that with his "three year anniversary" (of being told he had colon cancer) coming up next May that he should attempt something personally to raise money for Cancer Research.
He decided to windsurf at Hayling from "sunrise to sunset" and get colleagues to join him for part of the day. He would get himself sponsored by colleague windsurfers, friends and family as his personal thank you for cancer research.
By linking a day to next years "National Windsurfing Week" he would also have a local focus for donations etc. He outlined his initial thoughts to fellow windsurfers at Hayling without knowing that the scan undertaken a few days early had shocking results.
A week after the scan, and "out of the blue", he had a phone call from the Hospital Colon Team to visit them the following day. At the visit, and to his surprise, he was told that the scan showed significant changes from July 2007 and that his file is now going to a "Lung team". He then attended two hospital clinics for biopsies to be taken from a mass in his lung and the neck thyroid.
The tests were to be analysed microscopically over 5 days and an Oncology meeting was set for Monday 6th October (part of Weymouth Speed Week 2008).
Even with a sore throat/neck from the biopsies David still travelled to Weymouth to both windsurf the speed course and help again in the office from the Saturday start day. He travelled back to his hospital for the Monday meeting and was told the distressing news that Colon Cancer had returned to his neck and two parts of his lung. He was to have a new PET scan, undertake six fortnightly sessions of Chemotherapy, a further scan and a review as to further chemo, an operation or radiotherapy if the nodes could be surgically cut out.
David returned to Weymouth that evening to share with the organising team and fellow windsurfers that the fears were confirmed. The shock news was received with empathy.
He also talked about the prognosis to Dave White (not only a top windsurfer but has also beaten cancer) because he had known David, and shared experiences, during his previous treatment. The forthcoming treatment would mean no sports again for about six months but also therefore the postponement of his idea next year to raise funds for Cancer Research.
Without even knowing the scope of the plans Dave told David not to cancel but to press on with the admin for the project to keep focused whilst the treatment is underway and he would front the sponsorship ideas. David explained that he proposed to get sponsored for being on the water from "sunrise to sunset". Dave gave his full support to the project and a few days later added a very personal and emotional account on his web site blog entitled "everybody hurts" (link click here http://www.k-63.com/news/2008/everybodyhurts/index.html)
David was taken aback by the offer to help with his Cancer Research fund raising idea and furthermore with many other windsurfers and the organisers of "Speed Week" giving their support to both sail and to help with the organisation plans etc.
David had received that day the bad news that cancer had returned but realised with Dave White's commitment he had a lot of work to focus on during the difficult times ahead. From David's low key event there was suddenly great support to also sail with Dave at Hayling, or at their own sailing location, and the idea was becoming a "national event".
A web site was needed and the domain name of www.sunrisesunset.ws was secured that evening. David was so overcome with the support for such a worthy cause he realised that this could lead to a continuation of promoting cancer awareness among windsurfers and raising funds through further organised events.
A high profile ongoing web site with charity status would serve as a pointer to meet his perceived objectives of education, support and research and the following day the domain name of www.windsurfing4cancerresearch.org was secured and the plans were underway!
In 2013 the Charity relaunched under the new name of Watersports 4 Cancer Research in order to wider the range of our activities and provide charity to all forms of Waterbased activities.
Registered Charity Number 1128492