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OBOBs take on Hell of the North Cotswolds cycle challenge

7 April 2016

A group of thirteen keen cyclists are gearing up to tackle a gruelling 50km cycle challenge to raise money for research into the cancer one of them is trying hard to beat.

Calling themselves the OBOBs (Old Blokes on Bikes), the group will take on this year’s Hell of the North Cotswolds, a challenging course along roads and tracks around the Cotswold hills, in Gloucestershire.

The event takes place on 10 April and all the money raised by the group will be donated to the charity Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund in honour of OBOBs member Mike Everitt, from Hook Norton, in Oxfordshire, who was diagnosed with the disease in October 2014.

Mike has trained hard with the OBOBs and had hoped to complete the challenge along with the rest of the team, but after undergoing surgery in March, he now won’t be up to full fitness in time for the event.

“When I was diagnosed, I was basically given a year to live,” said Mike. “The past 18 months have been a rollercoaster ride, but I’m still here, and looking forward to cheering on the team – even if I have to do that from my hospital bed.”

Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed in around 8,800 people in the UK each year. It is an extremely difficult cancer to diagnose and treat because it is unusually aggressive, symptoms are often vague and generally appear at an advanced stage of the disease. Around three per cent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will survive for five years or more, a figure that has barely improved in forty years.

“There needs to be as much research done into this disease as possible so that the people who come after me stand a better chance of beating it,” added Mike. “I’ve been fortunate to benefit from the medical treatment that I’ve had and I’m sure in 10 years’ time there will be even better treatments - if I can make a small contribution towards that goal, that gives me something really important to focus on now.”

The fundraising efforts of the Old Blokes on Bikes builds on donations made to Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund by Mike’s friends and work colleagues at the engineering company Vocis last year. More than 30 runners took on Warwickshire’s Wolf Run challenge, a tough 10k obstacle race which they ran in April 2015, raising nearly £16,000 for the charity.

Maggie Blanks, founder of Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, says: “Mike’s determination to fundraise for PCRF on top of everything else he’s dealing with is humbling. We’re very grateful to Mike and all the other OBOBs taking on such a tough physical challenge – we hope the wind stays behind you all the way!”

If you would like to support the OBOBs with their challenge, please visit Mike’s Just Giving page:


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