"One in nine women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime by tackling the hardest cycling race in the world, we want to help Prevent Breast Cancer on its journey to stopping this."
Two amateur cyclists from Manchester – taking on the world’s toughest cycling challenge, Race Across America (RAAM) in June 2019 have brought their fundraising efforts to Manchester Airport.
James Harvey, 44, and Tom Allen, 26, completed a gruelling morning of training on static bikes in Terminal 1 to generate awareness of their endeavour and raise money for Prevent Breast Cancer, the only UK charity entirely dedicated to the prediction and prevention of breast cancer.
From 4am till 2pm on Saturday 16th February, the pair cycled for 10 hours on static training bikes and were joined by a team of fundraisers from the charity, based at Wythenshawe Hospital.
Donations from travellers bring the total raised to date to over £30,000, taking Tom and James closer to their £125,000 fundraising target.
On 15 June 2019, James and Tom will start their epic journey to cycle over 3,000 miles in eight days through 12 states, tackling 170,000ft of ascents. They will become only the fifth team of two from the UK to complete the race.
Both non-professional athletes, James and Tom are fitting an intense training schedule around their full-time jobs to ensure they are strong enough to complete the minimum 400 miles a day required to finish the race within the timeframe.
James is a consultant breast surgeon at The Nightingale Centre and Prevent Breast Cancer Research Unit in Manchester, which specialises in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.
He explained: “One in nine women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime; by tackling the hardest cycling race in the world, we want to help Prevent Breast Cancer on its journey to stopping this.”
“I can’t thank Manchester Airport enough for the support they’ve shown us by allowing us to train here and helping us spread the message about the challenge for a cause that is so close to our hearts.”
Tom, a fundraising and communications manager for a brain and spinal injury charity, worked for Prevent Breast Cancer in the past and has seen first-hand what breast cancer can do to families and loved ones.
He said: “RAAM is the challenge of a lifetime that’s going to push myself and James as far as we can go. We’re extremely grateful to Manchester Airport for giving us the space to raise awareness and money towards our huge £125k fundraising target. We’re urging any other companies who can help us with any part of our challenge, to please get in touch.”
Wendy Sinfield, community relations manager at Manchester Airport, said: “We support a huge range of charitable initiatives here at Manchester Airport and I am pleased we could allow the cyclists down to train here before they jet off to America later in the year.
“As our passengers jetted off to our 210 destinations on Saturday I am sure they enjoyed watching the pair take to their bikes in Terminal One. We wish them all the best for their race in June, and look forward to welcoming them through our doors as they head off to the USA.”
Prevent Breast Cancer is the only UK charity entirely dedicated to the prediction and prevention of breast cancer. Unlike many cancer charities, they're focused on preventing, rather than curing. Promoting early diagnosis, screening and lifestyle changes, the charity believes it can stop the problem before it starts.
Nikki Barraclough, executive director of Prevent Breast Cancer, said: “Each year, 55,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer, the most common cancer in the UK. With James and Tom’s incredible efforts and the support of companies like MAG, we want to raise £125,000 to launch a pioneering research study which will assess the feasibility of offering DNA testing as part of the National Breast Screening Programme. This will take us one step closer to achieving our goal of preventing breast cancer.”
To sponsor Tom and James on their RAAM, please visit: www.raceacrossamericachallenge.com
Contact Nikki Barraclough, executive director of Prevent Breast Cancer, on 0161 291 4402 or firstname.lastname@example.org for all corporate sponsorship enquiries.