Thanks for taking the time to visit our JustGiving page.
GREAT NEWS - we passed our initial £600 target with a week to go. Ambitiously raised the target to a round £1,000.
BETTER NEWS! - not just past the £1,000 but way beyond £1,500 as well. Thank you all!!
WE DID IT!!!! - I'm writing this the day after we did the ride in a mixture of sun, wind and rain, and I don't know about the rest but I am absolutely exhausted but so proud of what we achieved. The totaliser is heading towards £2,000 so we'll keep the page open for a wee while yet! Thanks a million to all who took part and all who've donated so far!!
Around 20 friends, colleagues and acquaintances are set to join me on a fund-raising bike ride from Edinburgh to North Berwick (25 miles - or 50m for those heading back!).
If you're on here supporting a specific person's fantastic effort, please make sure and name check them in the comment box. And come out and support them on the day if you can - we'll be setting off from the brilliant Lodge Coffee House on Braid Road at 10.30, fuelled by Amy's amazing cheese scones (North Berwick fuel stop; and Edinburgh end-of-journey pub will be posted here when confirmed). You are all welcome!
Many of you were kind enough to support me when I raised money for Maggie's Edinburgh doing a 5km run whilst I was receiving chemotherapy. Thank you again for that. Hopefully there's someone else taking part in this bike ride that you can support this time - like I say, the more, the merrier!
Signed up so far are Iain Monk, Carolyn Rae, John Nicholson, Michael Kellet, Erlend Barclay, Hazel Reekie, Gordon Paterson, Kyle Slorance, Jackie Stewart, David Kyles, Gregor Campbell, Marc McLuskey, John Dobson, Stephen Pearson, Steve McElroy, Glen Slorance, Ewan Thomson, Alex Balfour (get your name added here - let me know if you're up for it!).
Where to start?
Around this time in spring 2016 I'd just completed 6 rounds of high-dose chemotherapy as part of my treatment for the rare and incurable Mantle Cell Lymphoma - a form of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma - diagnosed in late 2015 at the age of 44.
The chemo, demanding though it was, was just the pre-cursor to the "fairly brutal" Stem Cell transplant I received in April/May/June which, through the absolute wonders of medical science, will hopefully prolong my life for at least a good few years come.
The wonderful NHS took out some stem cells in April, froze them, blasted me with the highest possible dose of chemo short of killing me, destroyed my bone marrow and immune system, then in mid-May returned my stem cells and started to 're-build' me from scratch, followed by what turned out to be many months of slow but steady recovery (think those evolution of man drawings - thankfully I'm past the 'missing link' bit now!)
The good news is that, though my MCL will return, I'm currently in remission and returned to work at the start of this year. I'm still recovering and they're still re-building my immune system in the same way a baby gets two or three years worth of jabs (I literally have a two-year timetable of injections to follow!).
Getting back on my bikes has been a big part of my more recent recovery process. I'd done a lot of cycling in the year before diagnosis and would like to get back to being as fit - and light! - as I was then.
I've blogged about my 'journey' if you are interested - https://sloranceblog.wordpress.com/
Fundraising for Maggie's Edinburgh
Throughout my cancer journey, the good people at the Maggie's Centre in Edinburgh have provided invaluable support not just to me, but just as importantly to my wife and children, which at times helped lift what felt like a huge burden from our shoulders.
The Edinburgh Centre is an amazing facility staffed by equally amazing people. Their worth to all those who come through their doors is almost beyond measure and often beyond description.
The Edinburgh Maggie's was the first to be developed, 20 years ago. And great though it is, it has now out-grown itself and is in real need of extension. That's where this fund-raising comes in.
The Centre are in the middle of a massive fund-raising campaign to help finance new facilities. In their own words: "We’re working closely with NHS Lothian and Richard Murphy Architects to deliver a new functional space that will give us three brand new rooms, more seating space in the kitchen and a beautiful expansion of our fantastic garden space. This will allow us to provide more groups, courses and workshops for the increasing amount of people visiting the Centre for support."
Here's the Maggie's fundraising page for more info: https://www.maggiescentres.org/our-centres/maggies-edinburgh/news/article/maggies-edinburgh-extension/?page=4
And here's a piece that the Evening News wrote about me and my family and our gratitude to Maggie's: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/health/edinburgh-dad-was-fittest-he-d-ever-been-before-cancer-discovery-1-4330095
A bit more about Maggie's
Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends, following the ideas about cancer care originally laid out by the late Maggie Keswick Jencks.
Built in the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are places with professional staff on hand to offer the support people need.
Their Centres are places to find practical advice about benefits and eating well; places where qualified experts provide emotional support; places to meet other people; places where you can simply sit quietly with a cup of tea.
The first Maggie’s Centre opened in Edinburgh in 1996 and since then Maggie’s has continued to grow, with 20 Centres at major NHS cancer hospitals in the UK and abroad.
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