Ralph is cycling Prudential RideLondon for Breast Cancer Now on Sunday 30 July, in honour of his wife of 42 years, Deborah, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2017.
Deborah had attended a routine mammogram in December 2016, and was called back for advanced screening where she had a biopsy. After a week of waiting, the couple learned that Deborah had invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), which was located right at the back of her breast.
There is no history of breast cancer in Deborah’s family, so the cancer diagnosis came as a complete shock.
“It’s like being tapped on the shoulder – it came completely out of the blue, and it was a mad dash to find out what it was all about. I felt so helpless, so I just had to take the methodical approach, look at the practical elements, what the next steps would be and how to go about them. You don’t have all the answers, or know what the outcome is, so you just try to be as encouraging as possible.”
Less than three weeks after the diagnosis, Deborah had surgery to remove the tumour, and then began radiotherapy in March, which finished a month later. After a whirlwind three months, the experience and the treatment has left Deborah feeling exhausted, and the recovery is slow. “Sometimes she just hits a wall, and I can tell she is just so tired”, says Ralph.
“I’m supporting Breast Cancer Now because the cause is so close to home. Being sat in the waiting room at the hospital also made me very aware that there are others less fortunate than us. I’m doing it for Deb, for others like her, and for those who may face breast cancer in the future.”
“Breast Cancer Now funds research into the prevention and early detection of breast cancer. If we focus on research, we can help stop it before it affects families like it’s affected ours, or how it might affect us again. We don’t want to be tapped on the shoulder again. I am riding to help raise awareness of this awful disease, and fundraise for research which will support Breast Cancer Now in their aim to one day find a cure.”
With Deborah’s diagnosis at the beginning of the year, Ralph’s training got off to a slow start and his focused training didn’t start until Deborah’s treatment had finished in mid-April, three months later than he had originally planned.
Ralph has trained hard and is excited to complete the 100 mile cycle ride through the 2012 Olympic road cycling course. Deborah will be there to support him on race day.
Visit Ralph's fundraising page