Schoolboys cycle from London to Lisbon for blood cancer research

in News · 06-08-2011 00:00:00 · 0 Comments
Schoolboys cycle from London to Lisbon for blood cancer research

Four British school boys cycled nearly 2,000 kilometres from London to Lisbon to raise funds for the blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. They arrived in the Portuguese capital last week, where they were welcomed by British Ambassador Jill Gallard.

Louis Metcalfe, Archie Gilmour, Harry Pearson Gregory and Tom Prebensen, all aged 17, described their adventure as “life-changing.” En-route the determined quartet endured soaring temperatures, steep climbs, torrential downpours and 41 punctures, but raised more than £180,000 (€200,000) for the cause.
Funds were garnered via sponsorship for the ride as well as through several events held along the way, including an auction featuring dinner for eight with cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham.
Inspiration for the challenging bike ride came after two of the boys’ lost loved ones to the disease.
Louis lost his mother, Lily, in July 2005 following a three year battle with acute myeloid leukaemia; in May 2010 Tom also lost his grandmother Frankie to leukaemia.
Louis said: “It was completely devastating for me and my family - I hate that it took her. Sadly this is a disease that still affects so many people and the suffering is horrible. Therefore, we all agreed to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and see what we could do to help put an end to the disease.”
The boys set off from London on Tuesday, 5 July, waved off from Trafalgar Square by Alastair Campbell, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research’s Chairman of Fundraising, and London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is also Archie’s Godfather.
They arrived in Lisbon 17 days later, on 22 July. They were received by British Ambassador Jill Gallard who offered her congratulations at a special reception at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz.
While on their journey Harry and Tom celebrated their 17th birthdays and at one stage were joined by leukaemia survivor and England Midfielder Geoff Thomas, who teamed up with the boys for two days of cycling through France.
Louis says: “The experience has been absolutely incredible. We had a great time doing it, so I’m not happy that it’s over, but I’m relieved that we’ve finished it. There have been some really tough moments, but we’ve made it. And knowing that we’ve been able to make a difference for such an important cause is an amazing feeling.
“We are truly thankful to everyone who has supported us and helped to raise as much money and awareness as possible for this charity, which does such great things in this world, please support us if you can.”
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is the only UK charity solely dedicated to research into blood cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. These cancers are diagnosed in around 28,500 children, teenagers and adults in the UK every year.
The charity receives no government funding and relies entirely on voluntary support; it needs to raise £120 million in the next five years to continue its lifesaving research.
The boys can still be sponsored by visiting their JustGiving page at: www.justgiving.com/londontolisbon.




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