In February 2017, my whole world was turned upside down. I was due to start a world cycling tour with my partner, Chris, on 1st March – Southeast Asia, Vietnam, India, Nepal, Everest and wherever else the journey took us. Just to be on the safe side, due to a strong history of cancer in my family, I booked a hospital appointment to discuss breast cancer prevention before being referred for a mammogram at the Nightingale Centre in Manchester. I’d had no symptoms of cancer at all and assumed I was totally healthy – I’d returned from a 5,000km cycling journey from Blackpool to Malaga just months before – so after a whirlwind of scans and biopsies I was in complete shock when the doctors told me that I had breast cancer.
Most people associate a breast cancer diagnosis with finding a lump or being in pain, but it was a total bolt out of the blue for me. I hadn’t gone in with a view of being screened for cancer, just to discuss ways of lowering my risk. Of course cancer can happen to anyone, but I was confident that with my active, healthy lifestyle I was doing everything I could to avoid the disease.
A double mastectomy, six rounds of chemotherapy, Herceptin injections – of which I will have had 18 cycles by the time it finishes at the end of June – and lymph node removal later, I just knew that I wanted to do whatever I could to protect other women – and men – from going through what I had to endure.
During the early stages of treatment when I was under the care of the amazing Nightingale Centre, I discovered Prevent Breast Cancer and all of the wonderful work they do and felt an affinity with their goal of predicting and preventing this awful disease.
Thinking of a way to support and raise money for Prevent Breast Cancer was a no-brainer – Chris and I would take on the 100,000km world tour, this time for charity.
We’re planning to cycle for several years, taking on some of the world’s toughest terrain and contending with mountain passes and areas with no roads, totally cut off from civilisation, all on bikes that weigh over 55kg with all of our kit. We’re aiming to raise £1 for every kilometre of our journey – we know it’s not going to be easy, but we are so passionate about helping the charity reach their ultimate goal of creating a breast-cancer free future.
As our trip is self-funded, 100% of the donations will be going directly to Prevent Breast Cancer, so we’d be so grateful for anything that you could donate to help us achieve our goal. We’re going to be setting off on July 9th, so make sure to follow our journey of a lifetime!