When my beloved school friend Ann telephoned me in May 2012 to say she was sorry to have to tell me that she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer I knew I needed to get my own niggling concern checked out. There followed, for both Ann and I, a difficult 6 months of surgery, chemo and radiotherapy and a crazy shopping trip together for our wigs. In February this year Ann very sadly died after nearly 6 years of fighting this horrible disease. In my memory she is one of nature’s beautiful gifts. In her extraordinarily selfless way one of the last things she told me was that her one consolation was knowing that her illness had prompted me to get an early diagnosis. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you therefore that, in cycling for Le Cure again this year, I feel compelled to harness Ann’s joyful spirit and ride those Tour de France climbs like never before in an effort to raise as much money as possible for the fantastic research that Le Cure is doing to help eliminate breast cancer. Derek will be my trusty companion as always!
I am hugely appreciative of the generous support that many of you have already given me over the last few years enabling Le Cure to raise a staggering £1 million in just 4 years for The Royal Marsden’s cutting-edge research projects in Le Cure’s name. I hope you will put your faith in our cause once again against the background of the huge strides we have made already in improving the treatment of breast cancer. To summarise:-
•Le Cure’s first research project was presented at The American Association of Cancer Research conference and published as a lead editorial in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. This work was chosen as one of the top 10 key scientific discoveries in the Institute of Cancer Research in 2016/17.
• In December last year, Prof Nick Turner, our main Le Cure Scientist, was given the American Association of Cancer Research Investigator of the Year Award – a top international honour. Although Le Cure is a UK- based charity the impact of its research is unquestionably global and who better to entrust Le Cure’s research funds to than one of the world’s leading breast cancer research scientists!
• Our latest research trial aims to develop more sensitive tests for cancer DNA in the blood and thereby identify much more exactly who needs to receive chemotherapy to stop cancer relapsing and who can safely avoid chemotherapy in the knowledge that they have a very good chance of cure without it. If successful this trial will change clinical practice globally.
• To earn your sponsorship 60 Curistas, as we call ourselves, plan to climb in just 4 days over 12,000m of iconic Tour de France climbs in the Alps (over half of which featured in this year’s Tour). This is almost 1 1/2 times the height of Everest! We will also be covering on average 100km each day.
• Every Curista pays their own way and everybody involved with Le Cure is a volunteer so 100% of every sponsorship pound goes directly into our research.
If you would also like to read more about Le Cure and it’s ground-breaking research here is the link to our detailed website
Thank you so very much for taking the time to read about this passion of mine which is difficult to sum up briefly! In 4 weeks’ time our ride will be in full swing and I will be cycling proudly ‘For the love of Ann’.
With my love and thanks