A young father who was diagnosed with cancer after what he thought was a bout of tonsillitis is tackling a gruelling charity coast to coast bike ride to say thank you to The Christie for saving his life.
Craig Reid, 32, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, was diagnosed last May. He had thought he was suffering from tonsillitis, but it was actually a tumour. Tests revealed he had Non-Hodgkin lymphoma with cancer in his spleen and neck. There was a 40% survival rate.
Craig was treated at the specialist cancer centre The Christie and went on a clinical trial along with six rounds of chemotherapy, which ended in October 2015. The following month a scan showed that the cancer had gone.
Now in remission and back at work as a project manager for Bentley, Craig says he wants to raise money for The Christie as a way of giving something back and saying thank you to the medics who, he says, he owes everything to.
On September 4, he and three friends – Brian Johnston, James Morris and Matt Burch, whose mother was also treated at The Christie – will set off in their attempt to pedal the 150 miles from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Sunderland in just 48 hours. They are hoping to raise at least £1,000 with their coast to coast challenge.
Craig, who lives with wife Rosanna and two-year-old daughter Daisy, said: “I hope people will help us support this amazing cause. The Christie helps anybody unfortunate enough to get this type of diagnosis. Professor John Radford and his team were exceptional, I owe them everything.
When I was told I had stage four cancer I had to come to terms with the very real possibility that I might never see my daughter Daisy grow up. Thankfully The Christie gave me the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial and I am now well and back at work. This bike ride is my way of giving something back and saying thank you for saving my life.
The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust through its fundraising activities, and delivers projects, equipment and improvements that are over and above what the NHS funds. The charity has over 43,000 supporters who helped raise £15.9m last year.
More than 600 clinical trials are open at the Christie at any given time and approximately one in five patients take part in research at some point during their treatment.
To sponsor Craig and his friends visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/Brian-Johnston5