In 2012 Researcher Professor Francesco Dazzi and his patient Valeri Stoitchkov decided to ride the London Bikeathon's challenging 75 mile route together.
Francesco is Valeri's consultant and also an Imperial College London scientist, working on a project to prevent Graft vs. Host Disease (GvHD). Valeri suffers from constant pain in his legs and joints due to developing GvHD after his stem cell transplant for chronic myeloid leukaemia.
Francesco, 52, said: “Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is supporting my research into GvHD, which has had such a devastating effect on Valeri. The response so far to our fundraising has been incredible, with so many people, including patients, being amazingly generous in their sponsorship.
“Valeri and I have both done some cycling before and at his last check-up, we got talking about the 75-mile course at the London Bikeathon and thought ‘Why not?’! I'm pretty unfit and we have had very little time to train for it, but I think we should cope!”
Valeri said: "It’s been tough but at the end of the day I'm alive, which I'm hugely grateful for. I'm glad I'm in a position where I'm able to help others. Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is a great charity and the work they do is so important.
"Strangely cycling is less painful for me than walking so I think I should be ok on the day. I’ll definitely give it a good try - I'm stubborn enough to complete it! I cycle to work every day, so that's good practice."
Francesco and Valeri smashed their fundraising target, raising over £3500. Support them via JustGiving here.