Cancer patient to take on gruelling 500 mile bike ride from Crewe to La Rochelle in France to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support

A CHESHIRE man undergoing treatment for cancer will embark on a gruelling 500-mile cycling challenge from Crewe to south west France in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Keith Gardner, 58, from Crewe, has been battling cancer for the last two years. Still undergoing chemotherapy, he’ll set off from the Macmillan Ward at Leighton Hospital on Saturday 26 March and arrive in La Rochelle, France, around seven days later.

Keith will peddle more than 220 miles from Cheshire to Portsmouth before he travels solo across the channel and down to the south west of France. The UK segment, which Keith will ride with 14 of his work colleagues, will cover 70 miles on day one, followed by 75 miles and 65 miles on days two and three respectively.

Along the route, Keith and his colleagues will tackle a climb of 11,200 ft. – the equivalent of riding up the three highest peaks in Scotland, Wales and England, before Keith tackles the remaining 280 miles in France on his own.

Keith – who has nearly hit his £3,500 fundraising target – said:

“The training has been in temperatures just above freezing, so I hope by the end of March it will be much more enjoyable for everyone.
The length of my rides have been increasing, although I have to slightly reset after each fortnightly chemo session.
After all the chemotherapy, the masses of planning and thinking about all the aspects of the trip, I am just looking forward to clipping into my pedals and setting off.”

With a passion for cycling and a love of France, Keith was keen to set himself this mammoth challenge to raise money and awareness of Macmillan Cancer Support and to thank the charity for their efforts during his cancer treatment.

Keith went on to say:

“I want to let other people having chemotherapy know that you don’t have to curl up into a ball. You can still set yourself some challenges and achieve things others might think that you can’t do.
Having been at the receiving end of the excellent service provided by the Macmillan Ward in Crewe and Manchester, I simply had to give something back to thank them for their amazing work.
Macmillan really does an amazing job. Every single one of the staff I have met are working so hard to beat cancer and to make the lives of those experiencing cancer and their wider family and friends as dignified and as pleasant an experience as possible.
Macmillan gives people with cancer everything they’ve got. But without donations and charity challenges they can’t support everyone who needs them”.

Sarah Peet, Relationship Fundraising Manager for Macmillan said:

“Keith’s challenge is absolutely incredible – his determination and strength is something to be admired and we’d like to thank him for his fundraising efforts.
Keith knows first hand how the money people raise can help people living with or affected by cancer. We’re committed to do whatever it takes to help people as much as we possibly can and fundraisers like Keith will help us achieve that.”

If you would like to find out more about Keith’s Cycle Challenge and to make a donation, then please visit his Just Giving page –