ONE in two people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.
For Cardiff couple Emma Howell and David Gunstone, they each have a parent who has been affected by the disease.
Emma’s dad, Mick, was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma late last year and David’s mum, Susan, sadly died from a rare adrenal cancer a few years ago.
Passionate about supporting life-saving research, the pair have been chosen to launch Cancer Research UK’s new Cycle 300 fundraising campaign in Wales.
Emma, a PR and Events Officer for Cardiff and Vale College, said: “It was a shock when we found out about my dad. He has had eight rounds of chemotherapy and we’re just waiting to find out what the next steps are. He’s an inspiration – not letting it get him down and it’s definitely not affecting his sense of humour. He’s a super hero!
“One in two people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point. That’s half the planet which is quite a striking image when you think about it.”
The couple are taking part in the challenge and will be cycling 300 miles throughout September as a tribute to their parents and to help others affected by the disease.
Emma, 32, said: “I have supported Cancer Research UK for a number of years, but this is the first time I am completing an event for someone currently battling the disease.”
David, 38, a Transport Manager for MCL said: “My mum had a cancer that was really rare. I want to raise awareness about adrenal cancer as well as raising vital funds to fund more research.”
Adrenal cancer starts in the outer layer of the adrenal glands, which are next to the kidneys. Symptoms include raised blood pressure, thirst, passing urine frequently and muscle cramps.
The couple are urging men and women to sign up to Cycle 300 this September to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
There are many ways to hit the 300-mile mark. Commuters can notch up to ten miles a day on their cycle to work. Weekend enthusiasts can plan epic 75-mile routes through rolling countryside, while gymbunnies can step up the spin classes to hit their target.
Emma said: “I love being out and about on my bike. I think Cycle 300 is a great fundraising challenge because you can choose how, when and where to do it, so that it fits in with your lifestyle and commitments. We have planned our routes along the Taff Trail, South and West Wales and the Forest of Dean and can’t wait to get started.”
“Cycle 300 is the perfect opportunity to combine all benefits of cycling, the thrill of a physical challenge and the fantastic sense of achievement from raising money for a great cause, all at the same time.”
Ruth Amies, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Wales said: “We are very grateful to Emma and David for their support and hope it will start a chain-reaction, sparking the interest of cyclists of all ages and abilities.”
She added: “You can sign up to Cycle 300 on your own or make it more social by challenging family, friends and colleagues to join you. It’s a fantastic opportunity to commit to a healthy challenge now, so you have something to aim for in September.”
Taking on Cycle 300 is a great way to enjoy the health benefits of cycling and keeping active. As well as helping to build fitness and burn excess calories, cycling regularly encourages a healthier heart, can improve mood, and can also protect against a range of diseases – including cancer.
Depending on weight and effort, participants could burn roughly between 400 to 750 calories per hour of cycling.
Ruth continued: “Research is very expensive and the only way we can afford to fund it is with the help of our supporters. By taking part in Cycle 300, men and women can make a real difference in the fight against the disease.
“Everyone who participates in Cycle 300 will be supporting the efforts of doctors, nurses and scientists working on the front line against cancer.”
To sign up now for a free fundraising pack visit www.cruk.org/cycle300