Candid With Cancer #8 – My Second Cancer Diagnosis
Thomas Ashley details his battle against AML as part of a new weekly blog
Cure Leukaemia is looking for a team of 50 female cyclists to take part in the upcoming London 2 Paris ride from 20-24 September this year. The 500km, closed-road, fully supported ride run by leading cycling events company HotChillee takes place in Blood Cancer Awareness Month and caters for cyclists of all abilities.
With ten women already signed up, semi-professional cyclist Melissa Brand, who rode the Tour de France one day ahead of the professionals for Cure Leukaemia in 2015, wants to lead a team of 50 all the way to Paris in September. She said:
“This is a fantastic event and one that cyclists of all abilities can take part in. With closed roads and a full support team you won’t have a better experience on two wheels all the way to Paris. It would be great to have female cyclists outnumbering the men on this ride so I would urge women out there to sign up!”
Mel joined former England, Crystal Palace and Wolves footballer and blood cancer survivor Geoff Thomas as they rode the full Tour de France route three years ago an experience she will never forget.
“Riding the Tour with Geoff and the team was an extraordinary experience, especially as we raised so many funds to help people who are battling the disease Geoff was able to beat. Cure Leukaemia is a very special charity and the funds raised from London 2 Paris will directly help patients and that should inspire all of those taking part.”
Two female cyclists, Catherine Bennett and Anne Wade, were among the first to sign up to the event back in April. Both work for Cure Leukaemia’s charity partner Caboodle Technology based in Crewe and they are relishing the challenge. Geoff Thomas visited their offices earlier in the year to give them some training tips ahead of the event.
Catherine said: “We have four members of staff that have been directly impacted by blood cancer so this is a cause close to our hearts.
Neither Anne or myself have ever cycled to Paris before but Geoff stressed how the ride caters for all abilities and that’s given us confidence. We’ve had a couple of injuries but we are determined to be fit and ready on Thursday September 20th!”
Geoff, who is riding his 10th London 2 Paris, said:
“My wife Julie and two daughters Maddy and Georgia all rode this in 2015 and they were certainly not experienced cyclists.
That’s the beauty of this particular ride, the closed-roads and different speed groups mean cyclists of all abilities can take part in this unforgettable experience.
It would be fantastic to have the women outnumbering the men on this ride so I would urge female cyclists out there to sign up and make sure they don’t miss out.
“Every penny raised from London 2 Paris directly benefits blood cancer patients and I can say from experience that this is one of the best events available on two wheels!”
It costs £1,200 to take part in London 2 Paris and this includes accommodation, transport, food, physios, kit, medics, mechanics and a full support crew. The only aspect not covered in the price is the bar bill on the evenings! Each rider is asked to raise a minimum of £1,200 in sponsorship, all of which goes to blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia.