04 August 2014
A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) nursing lecturer has set his sights on a 460 mile solo cycle challenge from Cheshire to Paris to raise awareness and funds for rare forms of cancer and specifically, brain tumours.
Stewart Rickels, who lives in Northwich and has worked at UCLan for the last 18 months, will set off from his home town on Sunday 17 August on a five-day challenge that will see him finish under the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Thursday 21 August.
The 32-year-old decided to take on the mammoth challenge after a close relative was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It prompted Stewart to not only raise money for the two very worthy charities; The Brain Tumour Charity and The Christie Hospital, but also increase awareness of the condition and services which are needed to treat and care for people with rarer forms of cancer.
“There is a need for greater research into treatments and care available when a person is diagnosed with a rare cancer such as a brain tumour”
Stewart said: “There is a need for greater research into treatments and care available when a person is diagnosed with a rare cancer such as a brain tumour, supporting those with and those affected by the disease and also campaigning to raise awareness of the condition.
“Although it is relatively rare with only approximately 4,500 people being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour each year (according to Cancer Research UK), this doesn’t mean the investment shouldn’t be made both through funding for treatment and support and also in raising the profile of the disease throughout the UK.
“I’ve set myself this challenge so I can try and raise awareness of the condition and charities. I chose cycling as I could design and wear a custom designed jersey to provide as much exposure of the causes supported by the challenge.
“The training and ride combined will mean I will have covered over 2,500 miles wearing the jersey. I have been receiving thumbs up from car drivers whilst out training which is great motivation on the longer solo training rides.”
“I chose cycling as I could design and wear a custom designed jersey to provide as much exposure of the causes supported by the challenge.”
Stewart has ridden up to 200 miles a week since March as part of a gruelling training regime to prepare himself for the event which has seen him lose 11lb in weight. Although he’s completed triathlons in the past, this is the first time Stewart has taken on a big challenge that will see him ride between 80 and 117 miles back to back all the way to Paris.
“Riding for five days on my own will be as much of a mental challenge as it will be physical” he said. “A huge support with this challenge is the amazing commitment made by my wife Sarah and my two children to encourage and motivate me to train for and then undertake the challenge. My other close family and friends are providing support which is immeasurable and deserves a big thank you.”
So far Stewart has raised £2000 for The Brain Tumour Charity and The Christie Hospital. To donate visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=Cheshire2Paris&faId=434323&isTeam=false