AFTER surviving a battle with prostate cancer, Simon Lord wants to prove that a cancer diagnosis is not the end of your life.
The 54-year-old from Cholsey, near Wallingford, left Waterloo on Thursday to cycle the gruelling 800 miles journey from London to Marseille.
March is prostate cancer awareness month and the cyclist hopes to raise more awareness about the condition.
Mr Lord, a team leader at Wallingford’s Tesco Express, set off from Guy’s Hospital in Waterloo on a nine-day journey through France, where he will attempt to cycle 100 miles a day to raise money to train more urology specialists.
He will take on the challenge of the 5,200ft Mont Ventoux which involves a three-hour climb.
Chris Froome’s battle on Mount Ventoux led to a historic stage win for the cyclist in last year’s Tour de France.
Mr Lord was diagnosed with prostate cancer in July 2010 at the Churchill Hospital, following a simple blood tests in Oxford.
He said: “About a quarter of my prostate was cancerous, but despite that, I was able to have it removed.”
Mr Lord had surgery at Guys on November 10, 2010 and after 16 weeks’ recovery, he completed the Bath Half Marathon in one hour and 48 minutes.
He said: “I was out walking two hours a day within two weeks. I ran in the Oxfordshire Cross Country Championships in 2011.
“That is the kind of recovery that people can make.”
The father-of-three has never looked back and took on the challenge of running 10,000 metres every day in March 2012.
Now he hopes to raise £2,000 for The Urology Foundation, a charity that provides bursaries for urology professionals. He said: “I am trying to raise more awareness of prostate cancer in the county.
“Just as many men die of prostate cancer in Oxfordshire as women with breast cancer. There is a lot of treatment into prostate cancer going on, but at the heart of really good treatment, is really good nurses.
“This is about raising awareness of the need for really good nursing.”
Around 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, and 10,000 men die from the illness.
Due to his own experience Mr Lord advises men to get checked early so they have time to get the treatment, before the cancer spreads to other parts of the body.
Mr Lord lives with his wife Sarah and three daughters Victoria, 26, Alice, 22, and Olivia, 20 in Cholsey.
ACCORDING to Macmillan Cancer Support, symptoms of both benign enlargement of the prostate gland and malignant tumours (cancer) are similar and can include:
- difficulty passing urine
- passing urine more frequently than usual, especially at night
- pain when passing urine
- blood in the urine (this is not common)
If you have any of these symptoms it’s important to get them checked by your doctor.