Ten years after going into remission from leukaemia, former England footballer Geoff Thomas will hold two major cycling events in 2015 to support the work of Cure Leukaemia and Professor Charlie Craddock in Birmingham.
In 2003 Geoff was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia and was given less than three months to live. Following treatment from Cure Leukaemia Co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock, including a bone marrow transplant from his sister, Geoff has been in remission since January 2005.
Geoff now aims to raise £2million in two years by holding two unique cycling events for an exlsuive number of participants.
Firstly, in June 2015 Geoff will lead a closed group of 300 cyclists on a four-day, 500 kilometre cycling challenge: ‘London 2 Paris: Inspiring the Revolution’.
London 2 Paris: Inspiring The Revolution is, put simply, the best four days you can have on a bike, anywhere, anytime. Built for both keen cyclists and beginners looking for a new challenge, the event will ensure that all those involved will have the time of their life - every aspect of the ride is planned with precision and will be a professional event for amateur riders.
It might sound like an event only fit for cycling’s elite, but with four different speed groups, this is something anyone can achieve as well as having a lot of fun along the way! It also boasts itself as one of the ONLY events that offers rolling road closures throughout France.
Six months after Geoff’s treatment finished in 2005 and inspired by cancer survivor and pro-cyclist Lance Armstrong, Geoff set himself the challenge of cycling the Tour de France 2005 route two days ahead of the race. Geoff succeeded in his 2005 challenge and his second major cycling event will revisit the challenge of cycling all twenty-one stages of the Tour de France; this time, just one day ahead of Le Tour 2015.
Along with a closed group of only twenty participants, this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to join Geoff in completing one of the toughest physical challenges around.
Commenting on the challenge, Geoff Thomas said “Cycling the Tour de France route in 2005 was my way of saying thank you to all those people who had supported me through my diagnosis and recovery. It was an incredibly tough challenge and an experience that will stay with me forever.
At that time I had no idea what I would be doing ten years on, but being in such good health and having returned as Patron of Cure Leukaemia I want to get more involved and help to raise awareness and funds that I know will make a direct impact on the treatment of people who are in the same position as I was a decade ago.
Revisiting the Tour de France just one day ahead of the professional peloton will be incredibly taxing both physically and emotionally but I’m hoping that my efforts will inspire the public to get behind us and donate to Cure Leukaemia and help us save more lives.”
Geoff, and the footballing community, have a strong connection to Cure Leukaemia. Cure Leukaemia have been credited with saving Geoff’s life and, more recently, the life of former Aston Villa Captain Stiliyan Petrov. Based at the Centre for Clinical Haematology in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Professor Charlie Craddock has stated that cures for all blood cancers can be found in Birmingham within the next 30 years and Geoff is determined raise funds to hasten this progress.
Entries for both events are now open and a number of Geoff’s friends and supporters (including a number of celebs) from the sports community are already committed to participate.