Charity boss’ epic 500-mile cycle for cancer

Manchester scientists and researchers have welcomed a Cancer Research UK charity chief and a team of cyclists on a 500-mile cycle to raise money for Stand Up To Cancer.

Simon Ledsham, Director of Communities for Cancer Research UK, is cycling from the Beatson Institute in Glasgow to the Francis Crick Institute in London via Cancer Research UK’s key research institutes in Manchester, Birmingham and Cambridge. The move highlights the vital role science plays in helping more people survive the disease.

The 49-year-old will pedal more than 100 miles a day some days during the six-day challenge until he returns to the charity’s headquarters in Islington, London, on Friday.

He has been joined by his colleague Debbie Bradley and guest cyclists will join them at various points along the route – including Tom Simms and Josh Nicholls from Bolton.

The pair conquered tough terrain, wind and driving rain through Scotland and Cumbria before heading through Preston and Manchester to arrive at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute.

They were met by a cheering crowd of Cancer Research UK-funded scientists, researchers and supporters.

The cycle is the latest in a series of fundraising charity challenges for Simon who is aiming to raise £10,000 for Stand Up To Cancer.

He has previously climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, tried his hand at Stand Up comedy and even taken to the stage dressed as David Bowie for a charity version of Stars in Their Eyes.

“Each year I look to do something to raise awareness and money for Stand Up To Cancer but I think this is going to be by far the toughest one yet”, Simon said.

“It’s a huge physical challenge to cover this distance, especially day after day, but it will also require considerable mental strength.”

Alison Barbuti, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North West, said: “It was great to welcome the Stand Up To Cancer Cycle team to our Manchester Institute.

“What the cycle team is attempting is a massive challenge and its thanks to efforts like this that we are able to fund our vital work.”

This year, Stand Up To Cancer will culminate with a night of live TV on Channel 4, on Friday, October 26.

TNT Health

Photo Credit: Cancer Research UK

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