Cure Leukaemia’s ‘London 2 Paris: Inspiring The Revolution’ cycling event will see key figures from within the charity saddling up and taking on the 500km journey to raise funds.
Team Cure Leukaemia includes Co-Founders Professor Charlie Craddock and Graham Hampson Silk, Chairman Ian Allen and Chief Executive James McLaughlin, who are all preparing to join former England, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Crystal Palace footballer Geoff Thomas and 230 fellow riders on the June 18-22 challenge.
It is fair to say Team Cure Leukaemia does not include experienced cyclists, but they are all determined to complete the ride and raise vital funds for the blood cancer charity.
Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia, a form of blood cancer, in 2003 and given just three months to live.
Thankfully, treatment provided by Professor Craddock, including a stem cell transplant from Geoff’s sister Kay, saved his life and he has been in remission since 2005.
He is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his remission by leading two cycling events: London 2 Paris and ‘Le Tour – One Day Ahead’ to raise £1million for Cure Leukaemia.
Team Cure Leukaemia met to discuss the challenge ahead at official charity partner Warwickshire County Cricket Club whilst the Bears defeated Worcestershire in the county championship.
Speaking at the famous Test Match venue Professor Craddock said: “I’m comfortable cycling from Moseley to Edgbaston in Birmingham so I’m sure this will be a breeze! Joking apart, I am very much looking forward to the experience and hopefully raising vital funds that will help save the lives of blood cancer patients across the Midlands.”
Graham Hampson Silk is another former patient of Charlie and is the only member of the quartet to have taken part in the ride before. “It’s an amazing experience and I am really looking forward to it, especially the cakes you are given at the end of each day!” he quipped. “Riding into Paris under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower is a truly memorable experience and I am very excited to do it again. The funds we are hoping to raise will make a real difference to blood cancer patients. I am living proof of that.”
Chairman Ian Allen, who is also the CEO of Succeed Academy, said: “I have been training hard…but not for London 2 Paris! I don’t think I’ve been on a bike since the 1970s so it could be an interesting four days. It is going to be great fun doing this with the whole Cure Leukaemia family involved. I’m sure we are all going to have a very special time and raise lots of money for this fantastic charity I am proud to be Chairman of.”
James McLaughlin has recent cycling experience, having taken part in a Cure Leukaemia ride organised by the Birmingham office of Pinsent Masons last year and can’t wait to get back in the saddle. “I currently don’t own a bike so with 28 days to go until we set off from Greenwich, I think I had better get that sorted!” joked James.
“I am so pleased Charlie, Graham and Ian are going to be riding it as well. I’m sure we will keep the slow group entertained at the back! To have so many key figures from the charity involved speaks volumes about the family spirit that courses through Cure Leukaemia. I hope we can all help Geoff reach his fundraising goals for 2015.”
Geoff, who recently became the first-ever Crystal Palace player to be presented with a second Special Achievement Award by the club thanks to his fundraising for blood cancer patients, said: “I’m not sure the Team Cure Leukaemia members will be riding up near the front. Some of their preparation for the event is certainly a concern! In all seriousness, I am thrilled they are taking part. To ride into Paris alongside Charlie, the man who saved my life, will be a very emotional moment for me. I’m looking forward to it immensely.’