Cancer survivor cycles to aid charity

James Ross, Matt Dawson and Christian Alvey

James Ross, Matt Dawson and Christian Alvey

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Health reporter, also covering Kidlington. Call me on 01865 425271

THREE years ago he faced the devastating news that nothing could be done to treat his bowel cancer.

But Christian Alvey, 35, is now facing a massive charity cycle challenge after seven tumours were removed from his lungs.

The father-of-two is to take on the 100-mile challenge with 24,000 others led by former England rugby scrum-half and BBC Question of Sport captain Matt Dawson.

The ride – along the 2012 Olympic road race route from London to Surrey – aims to raise £120,000 for Beating Bowel Cancer’s nurse helpline.

The August 10 Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 aims to be the largest cycling fundraising event ever.

The software developer from Boundary Mews, Carterton, was diagnosed in March 2011 aged 32 and had a tumour removed followed by chemotherapy.

He said: “Initially, I was diagnosed as having early stage bowel cancer but the doctors later found that it had spread and I had seven tumours on my lungs, so it was thought nothing could be done to cure me.

“I was trying to come to terms with this news, which seemed impossible to bear, when two weeks later a cardiothoracic surgeon saw my scans and said she could operate.”

Two operations in 2012 removed the tumours and Mr Alvey has since had four clear scans.

He said: “This has been the most unbelievable journey for me, going from a time when there was little or no hope for a cure to now probably being the fittest and healthiest I have ever been.

“I’m certainly not in the clear yet, but I’m a lot closer to it than I was three years ago and want to ensure I make the best use of my current good health to give something back to the charities helping people with cancer.”

He joined Witney’s Mickey Cranks cycling club. Mr Alvey, who has raised £515 towards a £750 target, called for more awareness.

He said: “Early diagnosis has a huge impact on survival rates.”

His employer, npower, has pledged to match his fundraising up to £500.

The ride begins at Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park, East London and finishes at The Mall in London.

Matt Dawson, part of England’s 2003 World Cup winning rugby team and patron of the charity, said: “My mother has successfully beaten the disease, but sadly my grandfather died of it.

“More needs to be done to make people aware of the symptoms so they can get help early and only through the generous support of fundraisers like Christian can Beating Bowel Cancer continue to help more patients.”

Sponsor Christian at justgiving.com/Christian-Alvey-RL100

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