Rob Dey, Louis Molloy and Howard Yuill recently undertook a Coast To Coast cycle but did it the hard way - by cycling back as well!
On 15th May 2015, the trio set off from Morecombe in their challenge that saw the three men cover 300 miles in 3 days, with the aim in raising £33,000, a figure which they are now not far off.
Raising funds for both Saint Mary's Hospital and The Christie, the ride saw the guys cover at least 100 miles each day, finishing at The Christie on Sunday 17th May. Altrincham business owners, Howard and Rob, along with Louis have been training relentlessly over the past 5 months, having completed a number of ambitious training cycles before they set off on the 15th.
On the last day of the ride, the team were joined by Michael Vaughan OBE, former England Cricket Captain, and keen cyclist. Michael was one of many celebrities endorsing the challenge. Michael led the way with the 3 cyclists on the final stretch into The Christie as the team were welcomed by many well-wishers there to help them celebrate completing their extraordinary cycle. Also joining the team were 20 additional cyclists who joined them for the final 40 miles into Manchester. Champagne was available on arrival thanks to the cycle challenge being kindly sponsored by luxury brand, Mumm Champagne.
The team have supported both Manchester hospitals as each of them has had a personal experience with cancer.
The funds raised for Saint Mary's Hospital will support Professor Evans' ground-breaking genetic research to identify patients carrying the BRCA Breast Cancer gene. Professor Evans has established a national and international reputation in clinical and research aspects of cancer genetics, particularly in breast cancer. His clinical service for cancer genetics at Saint Mary's is nationally regarded.
Rob's wife was diagnosed with breast cancer just after the birth of their two children. Carrying the BRCA gene, surgery was her only option. Thankfully the
surgery was successful and she made a full recovery. Rob wanted to raise money for Professor Evans' genetic research into breast cancer and the BRCA gene at Saint Mary's Hospital so that other families who receive the same diagnosis will be identified and treated quickly and efficiently.
The other half of the funds will go to the Breast Cancer Research fund at The Christie, held by Christie consultant, Dr Wardley. Over 2,000 women are treated at The Christie for breast cancer every year; but with an active programme of research, donations to this fund are helping the specialist cancer centre to develop both an understanding of this disease, and new and more effective treatments to combat it.
Howard's mother was treated at The Christie and sadly lost her two year battle with cancer in October 2014. Gwen was loved by many and made the brave decision to stop treatment towards the end so that she could enjoy the rest of her time without the side effects of the chemotherapy hindering her quality of life.
Louis is a professional tattoo artist from Manchester and has inked many celebrities during his career, including David Beckham. He also dedicates his time to looking after women who have been through reconstructive surgery as a result of their cancer treatment. His skills provide an invaluable step for women to gain back their confidence after such a drastic physical change.
Michael Vaughan said: "This is the kind of event that raises awareness of a disease that touches each and every one of us, I for one am extremely proud to support the guys. We are very lucky that we have such amazing facilities so close to us that help people battle cancer every day and riding an event like this will push all of us to our limits"
Angela Rowe, Community Fundraising Manager at Saint Mary's Hospital Charity said: "We cannot express how thankful we are to the team for raising such a fantastic amount of money for the charity; the scale and commitment of their challenge has been second to none, we are very fortunate to have their support. The funds raised will help Professor Evan's ground-breaking genetic research programme at Saint Mary's which aims to help the early diagnosis and treatment of inherited breast cancer, a vital service for those who may be affected by the BRCA cancer gene."
Charlie Rowen, sporting events officer at The Christie charity added: "What an achievement! We are incredibly grateful to Howard, Rob and Louis for their dedication to raising funds for our charity and would like to congratulate them on acing their tough cycle challenge! We'd also like to thank Michael Vaughan and all of the other cyclists who joined the team on Sunday for their support. The funds raised for The Christie will help fund vital research and education in breast cancer care along with investment in equipment, facilities and expertise."
To find out more about the cycle and to sponsor the trio please visit their website: http://www.coast2coast.events/