THE idea of walking on hot coals may be terrifying to most.
But for Ferndown man Stuart Wayment – who has recently faced major surgery – firewalking holds no fear.
And he is organising the hottest fundraising event in east Dorset this summer to prove his point.
The 52-year-old underwent a Whipple procedure in late 2012 after a blood donation was rejected because of an unknown illness.
The surgery involves the pancreas, duodenum and other internal organs, and is performed to treat cancerous and malignant tumours.
Mr Wayment said: “I went along to give blood, which is something I had done many times over the years, but they wouldn’t accept it as they said I was possibly anaemic.
“I was at the gym the following day when I had a call from my GP, who told me to come in. When I did, I was sent straight to the hospital.”
Despite a number of tests, doctors were unable to pinpoint exactly what was wrong with Mr Wayment, and he was told he could have cancer.
It was eventually decided that he should undergo a Whipple procedure.
He said: “At a couple of stages, I was told that I may have cancer of the stomach.
“When I had the procedure, I was on the table for around 10 hours.
“I don’t think I had really appreciated how big a deal it was. My wife was with me when doctors told me I could have a Whipple procedure, and I heard her give an inward gasp – I think she was more aware of what it would involve.”
It was discovered that Mr Wayment had a rare giant Brunner’s gland, and he has gone on to make a full recovery.
Now he has organised a firewalk to raise funds for Southampton general hospital’s Planets charity, which supports those with pancreatic cancer and neuroendocrine tumours.
He said: “The event will take place at the Barrington Centre on July 4, and I’m looking for about 50 people to take part.”
Participants will pay a £30 fee, and are free to raise funds for any charity of their choice.
For more information, or to book your place, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit barringtoncentre.co.uk