Today was the sort of day that really makes me want to get up in a morning.
Craig came along on one of our regular school days recently and whilst listening to my tumour story happened to mention that he had a friend in a similar position that would love to learn to ride a bike. What could I possibly say other than “bring him down, it would be my pleasure to teach him”.
Chris had surgery 5 years ago, but as is often the case, they weren’t able to remove all of the tumour and now it is growing back. Chris is on his own journey trying to raise enough money to pay for a new type of treatment available in Germany. I can only wish him every success with that and in the meantime, hopefully he can find the time to do some more riding. Today was just the first step.
Excellent evening training session last night. This is quite a physical track, but I’m feeling stronger all the time. Spent some time following Adam round which really helps me to push myself. If I want to be fit enough for the rally, I probably need to be able to sustain 4 or 5 hours riding continuously round a track like this, so still plenty of work to do.
Went back to Morocco recently to recce the tours for next year. First time I’ve been for 5 years, but it felt just like I was home again. Was great to catch up with Ali at the Nomad Palace. Sadly only a hire car this time, but can’t wait to get back here in November on a bike and start doing some training. Sand dunes, my idea of off-road heaven.
I’ve thought long and hard about how much of the medical side of things to share with everyone, but to be honest, if you’re looking to motivate other sufferers, it’s important to let them see exactly what it is you’ve gone through and what you’re fighting to come back from. So here it is in black and white so to speak.
As you can see, the tumour is a pretty sizeable one situated just behind my eye.
The surgeon spent about 14 hours trying to remove as much as he could and probably managed about 70%. It’s benign, so isn’t going to spread anywhere else, but there’s no reason to think that it won’t grow back over time. Nobody knows how long that will take though. There is the option to go back for more surgery at some point in the future, but in the meantime, I plan to get on
As you can see from the pictures, they certainly opened up a pretty big hole in my head to get at it.
Fortunately, now that I’m no longer on steroids, I don’t look like I’m trying to do hamster impressions any more thank goodness.
It’s an interesting look, but I can’t see it catching on in the fashion world.
For anyone that would like to buy a share in my Dakar 2020 project, there is now a crowdfunding page.
If you donate, please send me a Facebook message with your address so that I can send you your share certificate and keep in touch.
Training has started, but there’s an awful long way to go.
In 2017 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour and subsequently underwent 16 hours of surgery. The drive to recover from this comes from my love of riding bikes and so began the journey to Dakar 2020.
You never know what life is going to throw at you, but I feel as though I have been given a second chance and I intend to do something positive with it.
By competing in the world’s toughest endurance race I am hoping that I can motivate other brain tumour sufferers to keep on fighting and also raise lots of money for the neurosurgical ward at Royal Stoke University Hospital. I could not be more grateful to all the staff there and would like to give something back.
If you would like to get involved in the project, why not buy a share.
£100 will get you a certificate to prove that you are part of the team and I will carry your name on my bike along the trails and through the sand dunes of South America as I compete in the rally. You will be sharing a very important cause with me and hopefully helping inspire others to never give up.
Follow my progress towards the rally and help me to support a cause that is very close to my heart.