A 172-strong team of cyclists joined thousands of other riders to take part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey in aid of Prevent Breast Cancer, its official Charity of the Year partner for the 46-mile route.
The annual bike ride, which took place on the traffic-free roads of London and Surrey on Sunday 4 August, saw supporters of the charity take to streets to raise money for Prevent Breast Cancer, which is the only UK charity entirely dedicated to the prediction and prevention of the disease.
Amongst the charity’s team of supporters were anaesthetists, radiographers and dietitians from Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, where Prevent Breast Cancer is based, as well as many cyclists whose lives had been impacted by the disease.
Singer and television presenter Michelle Heaton took part in the cycling challenge as part of Team Prevent Breast Cancer. Michelle underwent a preventative mastectomy and hysterectomy to reduce her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers, after finding out she is a carrier of the mutated BRCA2 gene.
“Taking part in RideLondon on behalf of the charity was a no brainer. Growing up, I was aware that there had been a number of breast and ovarian cancers in my family, but I didn’t get tested for the mutated gene until after I had my daughter, Faith. I know that the day will come when she will have to decide whether or not to have genetic tests, so I am passionate about protecting future generations against the disease.
“RideLondon was a great way to raise awareness of Prevent Breast Cancer, as well as to raise funds to support the incredible work that they do. Plus, it was a great experience – everyone was there with a common goal, so there was a real sense of community.”
BBC journalist and former GB para-cyclist, Sally Hurst also rode on behalf of Prevent Breast Cancer. She has previously battled cancer twice, losing a leg to bone cancer at age 26, before being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 38. She began cycling competitively after losing her leg, turning to the sport as a way to take back control over her life.
“I’m a keen cyclist and a huge supporter of Prevent Breast Cancer, so I jumped at the chance to take part in RideLondon. It’s such a unique event – the atmosphere was amazing. I’ve spent the last few months working with the charity to help its team prepare for the ride, and everyone has spent months training for it, so it’s brilliant to see everyone’s hard work pay off.
“Being diagnosed with breast cancer just 12 years after losing my leg to bone cancer was absolutely devastating. No one should ever have to hear those words ‘I’m sorry, it’s cancer’ which is why prevention is so important, and why I – and the rest of Team Prevent Breast Cancer – wanted to take part in this ride.”
Nikki Barraclough, executive director at Prevent Breast Cancer, said:
“We are thrilled to have been the official charity partner for RideLondon-Surrey 46, and we are so grateful to all of the cyclists who took part in various rides over the weekend to raise over £100,000.
“150 people are diagnosed with the disease every day, and it is the most common form of cancer in the UK, something we want to change. This ride has given those who have been affected by the disease a great opportunity to increase awareness, and also to raise money for our vital research into its prediction and prevention.”
To find out more information about Prevent Breast Cancer and the work it does, visit preventbreastcancer.org.uk.