University lecturer tackles Tour de France route following cancer diagnosis
A Reading university lecturer is set to tackle one of the world’s most gruelling sporting challenges following a cancer diagnosis which left him drained and depleted.
David Brayshaw, a Climate Science lecturer from Reading was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma before the birth of his second child in December 2016.
The Tour 21 organised by the Cure Leukaemia offers David and 24 others the chance to raise money for a charity who are helping cancer patients receive the treatments that they deserve.
In June, he will join other amateur cyclists to complete the Tour de France route one week ahead of the professionals. This will include tackling all 21 stages and 3,5000km of the Tour de France across five French mountain ranges.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to heading out to complete the bike ride through France. We’re meeting in Bilbao and finishing at the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Saturday, July 16.
“The goal is to raise £1 million between us and because I struggled with a rare form of blood cancer it is a charity that is very close to my heart.
“The outlook for me was always quite positive and I was given the all clear three weeks before the birth of my second child but the time was incredibly hard on my family.
“The experience however of seeing other people visibly suffering from cancer first-hand during treatment really hit me.”
David said that he vividly remembers being in hospital for chemo and the man in the bed next to him breaking down into tears when he was told he needed another lumbar puncture.
“I was inspired to take on cycling after my wife made the brave decision to buy me a fancy bike as my ‘recovery present’, he explains. “Recovering has been an up-hill climb but so far I’ve been lucky enough to put the bike to good use in a number of other charity cycling events.”
“Raising money for Cure Leukaemia and working alongside them also goes alongside the work I do at the university and all my research with climate change science.
“The charity are setting up interfaces to get medications from the labs upon creation into the hospitals where they can help those battling cancer.
“Years of medical research and clinical trials made my particular form of blood cancer recognisable and treatable, and this is where Cure Leukaemia’s work is so vital.”
Over 40,000 people a year are diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma.
If you wish to donate to David’s cycle across France to raise money for Cure Leukaemia, click here.