Eric (Pip) C
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34 years of fundraising: My commitment to beating blood cancer

Eric (Pip) C
Posted by
16 Jul 2014

My 34 years involvement with Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research has been long and varied but I will endeavour to describe the most relevant points.

In July 1979 my son Stefan (pictured below) died from leukaemia, aged just five.

Shortly after this tragedy I got involved with Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, then known as The Leukaemia Research Fund, as a volunteer fundraiser. In the early years my activities were mainly helping out with street collections and other events such as ‘Flag Days’ and the annual Christmas Carol concert held at Birmingham Town Hall. This progressed to organising raffles and discos and eventually to gaining sponsorship from road running – I have entered and completed about a dozen half marathons and five full marathons in aid of the cause.

I got a little more ambitious by planning, leading and completing three long distance cycling ‘marathons,’ specifically, a non stop ride from Birmingham to Ramsgate, completed on the day my son would have celebrated his 21st birthday; a seven day ride from the north coast of Spain to the south coast of Portugal – and a very demanding ride from Birmingham to Blackpool and back within 24 hours. These three events attracted interest from the local media and raised several thousand pounds.


When I was 50 in 1999 I organised and completed my own ‘half century triathlon’ comprising a 50 lengths swim followed by a 50 mile cycle ride topped off with 50 slalom circuits in a kayak. This was another event supported by the local media and raised, as far as I remember, just over £2,000.

In 2000 I re-formed the band I played in as a teenager in the 1960s. This was originally intended as a one-off performance – a ‘60s night’ in aid of The Leukaemia Research Fund – but the evening was such a complete success we decided to keep the band going. Since 2000 the band’s charity ‘gigs’ raised well over £20,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and other charitable organisations. The band continued its successful fundraising for thirteen years

Because of how my life has been affected by leukaemia – and because of the continued success of the research funded by people’s generosity – I can honestly say that all my efforts for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research have been completely worthwhile. I fully intend to continue this commitment and it is my fervent hope to see an end to this awful disease within my lifetime.

Birmingham Bikeathon

I took early retirement in December 2013 and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my 65th year than to get back on the road again for this amazing life saving organisation – so I have signed up for the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Birmingham Bikeathon – a 100 mile cycle marathon taking place on 21st September 2014.

Needless to say, I’m looking for sponsorship – but I’m also hoping to encourage others to get on their bikes and sign up for this great event. You’ll have the choice of a 26, 52 or 100 mile route and I can promise you – it will be one of the most amazing things you will do in your life.

When my little boy was diagnosed in 1978 leukaemia was as good as a death sentence. However, nowadays, thanks to all those (continuing) years of research – completely funded by people’s generosity -  most children diagnosed can expect a cure.

To put it simply, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is getting results. Every £1 you donate or every ounce of pedal power you expend will be extremely well spent.

Make a donation to my Birmingham Bikeathon fundraising page

Sign up to ride alongside Eric at this year's inaugural Birmingham Bikeathon




Having read through everything you've done to help the charity over the years, I don't know where to start in reply! What you've done and continue to do is incredible and hugely inspirational. Your dedication and commitment over the years to beating blood cancer has ensured that people like me are still here today and able to join you in crazy fundraising challenges.

It was fantastic to meet you at the legacy event the other week and wish you all the best with the Birmingham Bikeathon - you're a fantastic example to us all and have certainly motivated me to get off my arse and get training for my own ride. As a cycling pro have you got any tips?


It's thanks to parents like you, Pip, that leukaemia is no longer a death sentence. As the mother of a seven year old, diagnosed with ALL at 4, I am so grateful for all your efforts.


Hello Karen,

Thank you so much for your very kind message. Although there are many who have done much more than me, hearing about your ittle one's great prgress makes me realise that every drop of sweat was worth it! People like you renew my enthusiasm for this very worthwhile cause. Will you be taking part in the Birmingham Bikeathon yourself?

With very best wishes,




Hiya Andy,

Thanks for your message, your help with this webpage - and for inspiring me yet again! All the very best for the London Bikeathon, you'll sail through it!!

Keep me posted,

Comrades on Wheels,

Pip (Eric)

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