Ealing blood cancer patient Alison Shaw is gearing up for this year’s London Bikeathon, the capital’s largest cancer charity cycle event, and has already raised over £1,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
Alison, 53, has challenged herself to cycle the 26 mile route on Sunday 16 August alongside husband, Andy Burnett, 58, her 24-year-old nephew Andrew, and a friend.
She was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma in February 2014, a few weeks before her 53rd birthday, after experiencing stomach discomfort and sharp pains in her jaw, knees and legs. Violent headaches and severe vomiting then followed, and after consulting her GP, Alison was immediately referred to A&E where they discovered a bleed on the brain.
Alison says: “My platelet count was extremely low and there was a talk of a skull operation if the bleed on my brain didn’t stop. The next day I was told that the root cause of all my symptoms was lymphoma. It was a total shock but I felt immediately reassured as I was in such excellent hands.”
After being given platelets to control the bleed, Alison was transferred to Hammersmith hospital for chemotherapy, where she remained for over three months.
“The support of everyone in the hospital and all my friends and family meant I always had faith that I would recover. My husband did the London Bikeathon last year and I was able to watch, sporting my wig. I feel very lucky that I’m able to do the ride this year alongside him”, she continues.
Now in its 19th year, the London Bikeathon is expected to attract thousands of cyclists aiming to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
Cyclists can choose from a 26 mile or 52 mile route and will pass by some of the Capital’s most iconic and picturesque sights, including St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, Big Ben, The Shard and the Tower of London.
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Riders can still register online or sign up on the day at Brunswick Square Gardens (WC1N 1AX).