Over the past few days Chris and I have managed to keep on heading east, keep on seeing new places, keep on enjoying the adventure, despite the increasing restrictions tightening around Europe. There have been some beautiful moments. However, it has become increasingly difficult to achieve two key pillars of the expedition: to share it with others; and to experience and immerse myself in the areas I pass through. This came to a head when I paused by the side of the road to make coffee; a much needed refreshment in the face of a mild gradient and moderate headwind. I began chatting to a lovely lady, at a distance of 5 metres, through her kitchen window. The realisation dawned on me like a lifting mist that journeying on at this point would lead to an impoverished expedition (blog post coming with more thoughts on this).
I am now back in the UK and I am excited to see how I can make the most of this unexpected break. Expect dodgy videos as I learn to edit films, burnt food as I try new recipes, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll start doing yoga.
None of us would have chosen the challenges that lie ahead of us, but within them lie opportunities. And as unwelcome as covid-19 is, we won’t get this time back. So it makes sense to me to keep on living as hard and fully as I can. My time is precious. So is yours. We CanLive with covid. Have fun, create an opportunity and be grateful we’re still alive.
See my blogpost for more on this.
My name is Luke. On 19th June 2018 I was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. A very aggressive and rare sarcoma. That day I also discovered my lungs were riddled with 13 cancerous nodules.
One year later, after chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy, I want to show it is possible to thrive with cancer.
I believe in living. Deeply, fully. In proactively making our lives richer. In boosting our chances of continued good health through exercise and diet and in bringing our hopes and dreams for an uncertain and indeterminate future to now.
To show that cancer is not a barrier and to relish in the present, I am cycling from Bristol to Beijing by tandem – a ride I started on 1st January 2020. The expedition will cover 23,000km, through 24 countries, over mountain passes, through sweeping deserts, experiencing freezing lows and sweltering heat, and meeting people from many walks of life on the way.
I will be joined along the way by other young people with cancer, so together we can inspire others – with, and without, cancer. This forms the basis of my movement, CanLive: powerfully nudging young people with cancer to proactively seek out opportunities to forge a rich and fulfilling life.
We originally aimed to raise a minimum of £23,000 – £1 for every kilometre cycled – for the fantastic charities Trekstock and 5k Your Way, which harness the power of exercise to help people with cancer, and Teenage Cancer Trust and CLIC Sargent, who have given me amazing support. Thanks to the generosity of many people, we exceeded this initial target one month into the expedition.
Our new fundraising target, which we announced on 20th February 2020, is to raise £123,000 by the time I get to Istanbul. Alongside this new target, I’m delighted to announce the addition of a new regional charity partner who we’ll be supporting (along with our existing four charity partners) during the second leg of the expedition – World Child Cancer.
Please donate to help these organisations continue their amazing work by clicking here:
Throughout this expedition I will be writing a blog, please check it out for the latest news! You can also follow me on social media – see the buttons at the top of this page.
Here’s a short video which explains the background to the expedition and the CanLive movement:
Here’s a short clip from a radio interview I did recently:
This video is from the launch of the expedition on 1st January 2020:
I am thrilled to be raising funds to support several charities that are making a real difference in people’s lives, aligned with the CanLive spirit. The following four charities that do outstanding work in the UK will be my partners throughout the expedition. For more information about them and the regional partner charities I will be working with along my expedition route, please visit my fundraising page.