Reunited by Facebook

27/2/11  Reunited brothers Karl (left) and  Michael Speight,   from Normanton are to embark on a charity mountain bike ride in the Lake District.
27/2/11 Reunited brothers Karl (left) and Michael Speight, from Normanton are to embark on a charity mountain bike ride in the Lake District.

LONG-LOST brothers who were reunited by Facebook after 15 years apart will cycle across the Lake District together to help fight cancer.

Karl Speight, 33, of Ossett, had no idea his brother Michael, 36, had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma until he found his profile on the social networking site in 2007.

The pair lost touch after Karl’s job as an outdoor pursuits instructor took him away from the area.

Michael said: “I had just been diagnosed and had just got a laptop. I put my profile on Facebook and went back a couple of days later and I had a message saying ‘do I know you?’.

“I sent him one back, saying, ‘I hope so, I’m your brother.’

“It was emotional, it was nice to see him. He was shocked but glad to see I was still here.

“He has been there all the way through when I needed him, taking me to hospital. He has been there.”

Michael has undergone three gruelling years of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and has had stem cell transplants, but is now in remission and is back at work at Asda’s Normanton warehouse.

Karl said the brothers were now inseparable.

He said: “It has been good, it’s like I have never been away from him.

“When I first found out about the illness I was afraid and scared.”

The Speights have invited friends Chris Whalley and Jamie Lawrence to join them on a three-day biking challenge this summer.

Proceeds from sponsorship will go to the Wakefield Oncology and Leukaemia Fund (WOLF), which provides equipment like televisions to help make cancer patients’ stays in hospital more enjoyable.

And because Mr Whalley’s father-in-law Granville Devonshire, 64, suffers from Motor Neurone Disease (MND), half of the proceeds will go to the MND Association.

To sponsor the four friends, visit www.mtbikechallenge.com or call Chris Whalley on 078169 77992.