As the preparations continue apace for the hoped for resumption of the circumnavigation, including a possible re-routing of the flight, Norman has been joined at Shonai Airport by his new travelling buddy, Dougie!
But don't worry, this will still be a solo circumnavigation as Dougie is a Stomawise puppet who will be accompanying Norman for the rest of the flight to promote the Stomawise Cancer Charity which Norman is now involved with. For a fuller explanation it is best if we share with you the official press release to explain what it is all about.
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UK Health Support Website Gets Boost From Worldwide Aviation Adventurer
Stomawise which supports people who have undergone abdominal surgery has got a boost from a worldwide aviation adventurer. Norman Surplus who is attempting to be the first person to fly an autogyro around the world is taking a Stomawise ‘passenger’ as part of his work to raise awareness of bowel cancer and ostomy surgery on his travels.
|Dougie, the Stomawise 'traveller' arrives in Japan and is briefed on all things aviation.|
Stomawise is an internet based non-profit support network which now gets tens of thousands of visitors a week to its information based website from the UK and beyond. Currently in Japan after flying solo half way round the world, Norman greeted Stomawise puppet ‘Dougie’ also known as a Gastronaut. Surplus gave him a guided tour of the open cockpit aircraft that has already seen quite a few adventures in the 13,000 miles (21,000km) of travel across Europe, the Middle East, the Indian Sub-continent and SE Asia.
|Norman shows his new companion around Roxy's cockpit and rear seat.|
On meeting Dougie for the first time Norman said “I underwent surgery and Chemo treatment for advanced stage Bowel Cancer back in 2003. Although my treatment didn't require me to be fitted with a stoma, it still made me much more aware of the types of practical difficulties faced by others in very similar situations. For young children it must be a particularly challenging time as they come to terms with and perhaps have to even relearn the practicalities of everyday life…. Dougie and his Gastronaut colleagues have a very important role to play in helping with that learning process in a fun and creative way. I am very happy that Dougie has been chosen as the flying Gastronaut and I am sure we are going to have some great adventures together!”
|Dougie feels at home in the 2nd seat behind Norman|
Gastronauts are supplied mainly to children who have had to undergo surgery that results in them using a stoma bag to collect bodily waste. Norman, from Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is awaiting flight permission for the next leg of his journey into Russian airspace where authorities have delayed his journey by 10 months. If the Russian Civil Aviation Authorities do not give the green light soon Norman’s chance of crossing the Bering Sea to reach Alaska, the next stage after Russia, will be lost due to the short Arctic summer.
|Norman, Roxy and new friend Dougie are raring to set off again.|
The charity is currently raising funds to purchase several static caravans across the UK to help post surgical ostomates in their recovery. The objective of the project is to assist people re-build their confidence and self esteem after abdominal surgery and the formation of a stoma. This is achieved by offering them a break from the day-to-day pressures of home where they can focus on their own needs. Norman who is currently located at Shonai Airport, Yamagata, Japan is a survivor of advanced stage bowel cancer. This life changing experience is one of the reasons for the world record flight and for his work in promoting awareness of this type of cancer.
|Norman and Dougie, both in their own flying gear.|
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We hope the arrival of Dougie to the team will inspire people to check out the Stomawise website and also to visit the GyroxGoesGlobal sites for more updates and photos of what should be an interesting new episode in the story of the first circumnavigation of the globe by autogyro.
We wish them the best of luck for a speedy return to flying.
The Gyrox Team
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