'New lungs mean I can carry Torch'
Published: 25 Mar 2012 17:00
Richard Burbedge will take to the streets with the famous flame on Wednesday, July 11, 10 days after representing Great Britain in the European Heart and Lung Transplant Games in Apeldoorn, Holland.
Richard, from Tilehurst, will compete in volleyball and badminton in the five-day tournament before returning to play his part in the Reading ceremony. But he admits he is "lucky to be alive" because three years ago doctors gave him two years to live after he contracted lung complications caused by the genetic disease Cystic Fibrosis.
The 31-year-old IT systems analyst, who lives in Westwood Road, underwent a double lung transplant in June 2010 after a 10 month wait, said: " It's been very exciting but also very humbling. Two years ago I couldn't walk five metres and now I'm going to carry the flame! It's been a whirlwind couple of days with people phoning me up to congratulate me, but if it wasn't for my transplant I might not be here."
Tragically his twin sister Lizi [corr] died from the illness when she was 17 and Richard, a former Little Heath School pupil, who competed in the Transplant Sports UK Volleyball tournament last autumn, representing Harefield Hospital in Middlesex where surgeons operated on him, added: "It's going to be very emotional but I want to do this for other people who have gone through similar things and have not had the same opportunities.
"Two years ago the very simple things like making a cup of tea and tying my shoelaces were absolutely exhausting. But the operation gave me a new lease of life and now I am healthy I want to embrace sport."
Get more stories from our Roundup section
11 Dec 2013 10:50
A CARAVAN was completely destroyed in a blaze in Whitley today.
11 Dec 2013 10:48
POLICE are investigating a suspected arson after a scooter blaze in east Reading in the early hours of today.
11 Dec 2013 10:00
POLICE say a 17-year-old girl who went missing from her Oxford home could be in Reading.
10 Dec 2013 16:50
A NUMBER of pubs in Caversham were closed this afternoon when hundreds of mourners attended a travellers' funeral.
10 Dec 2013 10:00
MOTORISTS are being warned that Reading Services on the westbound carriageway of the M4 is closed today.
9 Dec 2013 17:30 • Nick Gutteridge
SITTING around a large table, five young mums chatter excitedly as they settle down to tackle their times tables.
9 Dec 2013 15:30
A 12-YEAR-OLD girl was pushed against a wall by two men before fleeing when a woman shouted at them.
8 Dec 2013 19:30
A TEENAGER from Reading who went missing last Wednesday has been found.
8 Dec 2013 17:30
CREWS from Whitley Wood and Dee Road had to cut the roof off a car to free a woman after a two-car collision at Goddards Green near Burghfield Common today.
8 Dec 2013 09:00
A DRIVER lost control of his car after flipping into a ditch in Ufton Nervet yesterday evening (Saturday).
7 Dec 2013 09:00
FIRE crews were called to a three-car smash on the M4 last night (Friday), with one woman taken to hospital with neck injuries.
6 Dec 2013 16:30
MOTORISTS are being warned of road closures when a convoy of bikers bring Christmas magic to the town on Sunday.
6 Dec 2013 15:30 • Nick Gutteridge
POLICE are appealing for information about the whereabouts of a teenage girl who has gone missing from Reading.
6 Dec 2013 13:30
THE Fire Brigades' Union (FBU) has announced further strike action over a pension dispute with the Government.
6 Dec 2013 12:00
A NATIONAL charity has welcomed a £10m boost to rural broadband.
6 Dec 2013 10:00
TRIBUTES have been pouring in following the death of Nelson Mandela yesterday, aged 95.
6 Dec 2013 09:30
Motorists are reminded over road closures as a convoy of bikers take to the streets this weekend (Sunday December 8).
5 Dec 2013 17:40
A MAN had to be cut free from his car after a two-vehicle smash in Tilehurst today.
5 Dec 2013 16:27
A 28-YEAR-OLD man has today been arrested on suspicion of burglary after a car was stolen in Sonning Common.
5 Dec 2013 13:22
PLANS to hike the price of fuel duty by 2p next year have been scrapped.