This time last year I was invited to the House of Commons as guest of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer. I collected a certificate, which recognised the progress NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and our partners had made in improving one-year cancer survival rates in the borough.
A year on, and this month I was pleased to meet Doncaster’s three MPs at my place of work. They wanted to add their support as I start the countdown to my sponsored Ride Across Britain to raise money for a cancer charity that’s close to my heart.
On 9 September this year, I leave Land’s End at the start of a nine-day cycle ride to John O’Groats to raise fund for Cancer Research UK.
It’s a big challenge, but I’m well prepared and looking forward to it, having been in training for several months. But I’ll admit the figures seem daunting at times.
I’ll be pedalling my way along nearly 1,000 miles of roads that will take me through three countries and 23 counties.
On the route I’ll be cycling up more than 52,000 feet of incline – that’s twice the height of Mt Everest.
I can expect to undertake 375,000 pedal strokes and burn off more than 40,000 calories whilst in the saddle.
I’ll be one of a big group of cyclists making their way from the toe of Cornwall to the top of Scotland, camping overnight and then resuming the following day.
Why am I doing it? I’ve lost several close relatives to cancer and I want to help bring a cure closer. The best way of doing so is by raising money for Cancer Research, which is my chosen charity.
Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer – that’s 360,000 cases every year, or nearly 1,000 every day. This equates to nearly 1,800 people a year in Doncaster.
And sadly, one person in the UK dies every four minutes of the disease, including 900 every year in Doncaster.
One in every two people born in the UK after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime.
The good news is that 50 per cent of people diagnosed with cancer in the UK will survive their disease for 10 years or more.
I hope in a small way that my sponsored ride across Britain will help to make a difference in the battle against this potentially killer disease. If we all stand up to cancer we can turn the tables on it.
If you would like to support me and Cancer Research UK, please visit Dr Crichton Just Giving Page or you can text DCCG99 £ to 70070.