600km cycle triumph for fundraiser with incurable brain tumour

25 October 2018

600km cycle triumph for fundraiser with incurable brain tumour
A woman who was diagnosed with a brain tumour after suffering a seizure while cycling has completed a 600km charity bike ride, raising over £38,000 for Imperial Health Charity.

Christine O’Connell was rushed to hospital in February after blacking out while cycling in central London. The 45-year-old business consultant was shocked to discover her seizure had been caused by a brain tumour linked to her earlier diagnosis of breast cancer. Further tests revealed that Christine’s breast cancer had spread to her brain and bones and is now incurable.

After undergoing treatment for her brain tumour and bone lesions, Christine gathered a team of riders and hard-working volunteers from Rapha Cycling Club (RCC) to join her for the One More City annual fundraising challenge.

This year, Christine and 26 fellow cyclists completed the 630km ride from Paris to Amsterdam, reaching the finish line inside three days during October. Next year the cyclists will set out from Amsterdam for their next destination.

Christine aims to raise £80,000 in total, which the charity will use to help fund pioneering research into secondary breast cancer at Imperial College London.

She said: “Early diagnosis provides the best chance for survival as the disease is curable in most people at this stage. However, an estimated 20 to 30 per cent of primary cancers spread to other organs, and at this point the cancer is no longer curable. Those diagnosed with secondary cancer will spend the rest of their lives on some form of treatment.

“The ethos of One More City is that the journey is never over; we are always progressing towards the next city, there are always more climbs to conquer and more challenges to face. Just like anyone living with secondary cancer, for whom the challenge is never over. There are always more treatments to endure, more scans to face, more side effects to manage.”

The money raised from the challenge will be used to fund an additional PhD student to support Imperial’s team of breast surgeons, oncologists and scientists based at Hammersmith Hospital. 

The team is led by Prof Charles Coombes, Prof Simak Ali and Dr Suzy Cleator who aim to discover new therapies to treat resistant forms of recurrent breast cancer, as well as developing more personalised treatments for patients affected by the disease.

To support their work, sponsor Christine and the One More City team at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/onemorecity