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Biking in the buff for pancreatic cancer research

23 June 2016

A Leeds man is raising money for Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund by taking part in the World Naked Bike Ride in Scarborough this Sunday.

Gareth RobinsonGareth Robinson, 34, is raising money for the charity in memory of his dad, Brian, who died from the disease in 2008. His mum, Lyn Robinson, is also fundraising for PCRF this weekend – by taking part in a skydive nearby in Bridlington.

But while Gareth might be permitted to watch his mum arrive safely back on firm ground, there is no way Lyn will be allowed anywhere near Scarborough this weekend.

“It was pure co-incidence that both events ended up being so close together,” says Gareth. “I’m actually really nervous about baring all to cycle through Scarborough – people who know me recognise what a big step I’m taking – but, embarrassing as it might be, it would be far worse if my mum were to turn up as well!”

Gareth remembers his dad was a keen cyclist and says he often took him and his brothers out on their bikes when they were kids.

“He always stayed fit, and when we found out he had cancer the doctors said he would only live six months,” says Gareth. “But he stayed with us for three years and tried really hard to stay active as long as he could.

“I don’t know what my dad would have made of this event, but I wanted to do something that was a bit different from a standard bike ride to get people to take more notice of this disease and what we need to do to tackle it.”

Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed in around 9,000 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.

The World Naked Bike Ride is an annual event that first took place in 2004 – this year is the first time Scarborough is taking part. It was organised as a protest against the pollution caused by motor vehicles and participants also ride to raise awareness and funds for other causes.

Maggie Blanks, founder of PCRF, says: “We’ve seen our supporters take on all manner of events to raise vital funds for research, but I have to say a naked bike ride is definitely a first! Hats off to Gareth – a very brave man indeed!”

If you would like to support Gareth, please visit his Just Giving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Gareth-Robinson4

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