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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 14 November 2021

Sussex Man With Advanced Prostate Cancer Completes Cycle Around Coast Of Great Britain For Charity

Royal Marsden prostate cancer patient Simon Aylett, from Sussex, has finished an epic 4000-mile cycle around the coast of Great Britain, raising £27k for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Setting off from his home in Rye in May, Simon completed the challenge on an e-bike with a homemade miniature caravan attached, with 72 days spent in the saddle. 

The journey took him around the perimeter of Great Britain, ending back in Rye with friends and family celebrating his return in a pub.

After being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012, Simon was told in 2017 that the cancer had spread and he only had 12 months of good health left. 

Determined to make the most of this time, he completed his first e-bike challenge in the summer of 2018 – a 2,000 mile cycle from Rye to Syracuse in Sicily – raising thousands for charity.

By 2019, Simon had become unwell and his treatment – which had included surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormonal therapies – was resistant to treatment. 

However, in 2020 he was accepted onto a phase 1 clinical trial at The Royal Marsden"s Oak Drug Development Unit, which is funded by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. The drug is currently working well for Simon, with his PSA score dramatically reduced.

Earlier this year, Simon decided it was time to get back on his e-bike and, this time, raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

The funds raised by Simon will support the Oak Drug Development Unit, which provides a pathway for newly discovered drugs to be tested in Phase 1 clinical trials. 

The unit treats close to 300 patients a year on Phase I trials, making it one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world.

Simon Aylett said:

"After being told my prostate cancer had spread, I thought my cycle to Sicily would be my 'Swansong Ride' but, three years on, I'm still here due to the pioneering treatment I've received at The Royal Marsden. 

"This treatment means I've met my first granddaughter, spent more precious time with my family and have been able to complete this challenge to raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

"The trip, which came with lots of highs and lows, in a strange way has echoed my experience of cancer. 

"For example, both have thrown many curveballs my way. Like setbacks after my diagnosis, including my cancer spreading and treatments becoming resistant, 

"I've had to contend with steep hills, daily punctures and the bike breaking down multiple times.

"However, besides the sheer staggering beauty of Great Britain's countryside and coast, it's people that have got me through this trip, in much the same way as my loved ones have supported me since my diagnosis. 

"From the lovely woman in Wick who put me up for a couple of nights when I couldn"t find a campsite, to the Welsh couple who rescued me when I got stuck on a hill outside their house, I've been blown away by the kindness of so many."

For more information CLICK HERE.

by: Mike Cobley


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