Young student Jamie Menzies from Potton, England, is launching a bike tour that travels across Europe to raise money for a local hospital’s charity in honor of his father, who was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in November 2010.
Menzies seeks to raise money for Papworth Hospital, the United Kingdom’s largest cardiothoracic hospital, where his father is currently being treated.
Menzies’ father’s doctors have determined that his cancer has developed as the result of asbestos exposure. Various medical studies have linked asbestos exposure as the cause of mesothelioma in upwards of 90 percent of cases. Asbestos cancer develops in the lining of the vital organs of the body such as the lungs and abdomen.
In return for the outstanding care that Jamie’s father is receiving, 22-year-old Menzies will cycle 100 meters for every patient that Papworth Hospital treats in an average year. The hospital treats approximately 22,400 patients annually, which equates to a total length of 2,240km (1,391.8 miles).
Menzies has planned the bike tour to start at the Papworth Hospital in England on June 8, 2011 and extend to Geneva, Switzerland and back within 23 days. The money raised through donations will be given to the hospital’s Mesothelioma Trust Fund to be used for cancer research.
Jamie, who enjoys outdoor adventures teetering on the edge of extreme, said, “I would not even remotely consider myself much of a cyclist. The last bike I had was when I was about 10. To be honest, these figures are slightly terrifying, but hopefully achievable with a bit of hard work! — I will be doing the entire trip solo and camping every night whilst in France and Switzerland; let’s hope for some dry weather!”
In December 2010, Jamie’s father underwent a palliative procedure to remove pressure from his lungs. Jamie reported that, “So far it has worked to prevent fluid continuing to fill his lungs.” Jamie’s goal was to raise £3,000, and he has already surpassed this goal with hopes of setting the level even higher.
If you would like to support Jamie in his great undertaking and help fund mesothelioma research, you can donate by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/Cycle4Papworth. Because mesothelioma is such a rare cancer and thus receives little attention for research funding, doctors have stressed that money raised for research is one of the vital steps in the road to developing a cure.