Student Cycles Europe to Raise Funds for Mesothelioma Research While His Father Battles Pleural Mesothelioma
Jamie Menzies, of Potton, England, has decided to combine his love of the outdoors with his hope that no one else’s father will have to battle mesothelioma by embarking on a 1,400 mile bike ride to raise money for mesothelioma research at Papworth Hospital. Papworth Hospital is the UK’s largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital and is where Menzies’ father has been treated since being diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in November.
Pleural mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer that is almost always caused by asbestos exposure and is most commonly found in the outer lining of the lungs called the mesothelium. Most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed 30 years or more after exposure, with the latency period sometimes being as long as 50 years. Menzies says his father was exposed to asbestos leading to his mesothelioma, however, he does not say where the exposure occurred.
According to Professor Julian Peto, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Institute of Cancer Research, the UK now has the highest death rate in the world from mesothelioma, with over 2,000 deaths a year. Mesothelioma causes an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 deaths per year worldwide.
Menzies will cycle 100 meters for every inpatient Papworth Hospital treats over the course of an average year to raise money and awareness for mesothelioma and for continued research at Papworth Hospital. Menzies said, “Every penny raised for the charity will go towards their [Papworth's] Mesothelioma fund, being used to research new techniques to tackle Mesothelioma.” Papworth treats 22,400 patients annually, equating to cycling 2,240km or approximately 1,400 miles.
Calling his adventure “One man, Two wheels, Three countries, and An Amazing Cause,” Menzies will start his bike tour at Papworth Hospital (Cambridgeshire) on June 8th and bike to Dover via London, then from Dover will ferry to Dunkirk, then on to Switzerland (Geneva), where he will start the second leg of the journey, returning back to Papworth Hospital. Menzies hopes to complete the trek in 23 days averaging 61 miles a day.
Menzies’ fundraising goal is 3000 Euros, or approximately $4,375. Through his website he has raised 2500 Euro or $3,600. BikeTart, a local biking shop sponsoring Menzies, will donate 5% of any sales they receive when ‘Cycle4Papworth’ is mentioned.
Mesothelioma can be treated with varying degrees of success through the use of surgical procedures, chemotherapy and radiation. In December, Menzies’ father went in to Papworth Hospital for an operation to ease some of the symptoms of his condition, and remained hospitalized for over a month. Menzies reports that so far it has worked to prevent fluid from continuing to fill his father’s lungs.
For more information visit Jamie Menzies’ website and blog.