In his own words, “To celebrate still being alive five years on from my cancer diagnosis,” Keith Farquharson from Heaton, Newcastle, is undertaking a number of physical challenges for us this year.
A Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre patient, Keith has stage 4 bowel cancer and is taking part in an immunotherapy trial, which he began four years ago having been told in January 2018, after two rounds of chemotherapy, he had a 50% chance of surviving for another 12 months.
Almost five years to the day after his initial diagnosis, he attempted the 5 Dales Sportive – an extremely challenging 120 mile cycle ride up and down some very significant hills in the Yorkshire Dales.
He completed a punishing 86 miles of the challenge – by far the furthest Keith has ever cycled in one day and also including the highest climb he has ever done.
Keith says: “It was great to get together with my cycling friends but I can’t say it wasn’t a hard ride. I thought maybe the climbs would get me but, in the end, it was the distance I found really hard. My training this year has been affected by COVID, so that hasn’t helped.
“Ultimately, I’m very grateful to be here and to have the chance to do these rides and to raise money for the charity that means the world to me. My son is now twice the age he was when I was first diagnosed. Without the opportunity to trial a drug at the Sir Bobby Centre, I would have missed out on those years.”
Keith is also planning to take part in the Cyclone Festival of Cycling on 25 June, a North East cycling institution, and will be taking on the 109 mile Black Route. And, to wrap up a truly magnificent year of fundraising, Keith will be joining thousands of other runners at the Great North Run in September and is hoping to finish in less than two hours.
During lockdown, Keith cycled the whole of the 2018 Tour de France route at home to support our work. He was recognised for his commitment with the Charity Champion of the Year trophy at the North East Charity Awards.
We currently have limited places available to join Sir Bobby’s team for both the Cyclone Festival of Cycling and Great North Run. For more information, please visit: https://charity.newcastle-hospitals.nhs.uk/get-involved/challenges-and-events/
To sponsor Keith for his efforts, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/keith-farquharson-2022
Our thanks to Velo 29 for providing the pic of Keith and their support for him.