The family of Les Twigger, who died in June 2013 of colon cancer, held a fundraising and awareness raising evening in his memory on the 13th September 2013 and raised a magnificent £2,345 for 40tude curing colon cancer. Jenny Haywood and her children - Caron, Sarah, Mark and Marie - organised a night of musical entertainment performed by local Nuneaton artists as well as an auction and a raffle. 40tude has donated 100% of the proceeds to St Mark’s Hospital Foundation for their vital work into funding bowel cancer projects. The evening also proved to be a great success from an awareness-raising perspective and two families have gone in for screening as a direct result of the efforts of the family - who are all too aware of how crucial it is to look out for symptoms and get in for screening early. You can find more valuable information by visiting: www.stmarksfoundation.org/
In September and October 2013, Justin Hansen successfully kayaked 420 miles from Skipton in North Yorkshire to Bristol while connected to a life support system for 24 hours a day. In undertaking this massive challenge, he created a new world record for an endurance trip surviving on artificial nutrition and raised a formidable £10,575.66 for St Mark's Hospital Foundation. This latest achievement followed Justin's first kayaking challenge on the 1st October 2010 when Justin, together with a handful of friends, completed a 240-mile kayak adventure from Manchester to London when they raised £18,159.53 for St Mark's Hospital Foundation.
Due to Crohn's disease most of Justin's intestines have been removed. He needs at least 12 hours of intravenous nutrition every day to survive. For the Manchester to London trip, Justin was connected to his intravenous feed the entire time - 24 hours every day even whilst paddling. He carried out all his aseptic procedures in a little cabin at the back of a narrow boat.
Keep an eye on www.gutlesskayaking.com for the latest news about Justin's Gutless Kayaking adventures!
At 6am on Saturday 15th June 2013, 40tude supporter, Simon Gabriel, started the longest and most arduous run of his life - the South Downs Way 100-mile trail - to raise further funds for 40tude curing colon cancer's FLEX project. He ran alongside brother Julian and was supported by his daughter, Amelia, and her godfather and Simon's other brother, Michael, at various intervals along the way.
Whilst the scenery was absolutely stunning - indeed a pleasure to run through - the terrain and underfoot conditions proved to be quite tough and the wind pretty fierce over those hills!
If you'd like to add to Simon's fantastic fundraising efforts - so far he has raised £1,835 - you can visit his online giving page here.
Huge thanks from the 40tude and St Mark's teams to the adventurous Gabriel clan, and to all those who support them!
A number of our Mallorca Cycle Challengers joined up for an evening of spanish wine and tapas at the Sigma Sport store in Kingston, kindly hosted by Mark Cooper, on Tuesday 4th June 2013.
PIE guide James Tansley talked us through the 'ups and downs' of the route and both he and Mark Cooper shared their expert knowledge on riding techniques, tips on bikes, clothing and accessories, and some bike maintenance advice. Robin Kennedy, leader of the FLEX research project at St Mark's Hospital (who will also be riding with us in Mallorca), gave the group a brief update on the project's progress. And Gordon Moore announced that 40tude current ambition is to help fund the project to reach the point where the FLEX technique has been trialled in ten humans. Robin Kennedy explained that if the FLEX technique proves successful, the potential consequence is that up to 4,000 people each year in the UK will be able to avoid the need for major colon surgery.
We'd like to thank Mark, James and Robin for their contributions to a very enjoyable and informative evening.
Our adventurous paddlers have been out in force on the water in training for the 40tude London SUP Marathon on Saturday 22nd June 2013. Click here for more details - and below you can see some photos from some of the training sessions ... And if you think it looks awesome fun (which it is!), you'll be pleased to hear we're running a repeat in June 2014!
On Saturday 2nd February 2013, Michael Gabriel, who cycled the 40tude curing colon cancer London to Paris and Provence challenges, ran the Thames Trot 50 ultra marathon with his brothers, Julian and Simon, in support of 40tude curing colon cancer. The race commenced at Iffley in Oxford and was meant to be a picturesque, off-road, 50-mile, fairly flat run along the tow path to Henley. Unfortunately, owing to large parts of the route being under water, rather than cancelling the event the organisers changed the route at the last minute to one which ended up mainly on hilly A and B roads (40+ miles of road with the remainder being fairly impassable off-road tracks), which sadly wasn’t the most pleasurable of routes!
Commenting after the race, Michael said; "40tude challenges are all about having fun and yes, this was a tough run, but we were blessed with glorious winter sunshine and it was a great challenge to have completed. Hopefully it will help with the 40tude fundraising effort and I am now looking forward to getting back on the bike!"
On Tuesday 29th January 2013, over twenty 40tude friends visited St Mark's Hospital for a tour, a talk and a light supper. The evening gave us an insight into what’s going on at the hospital and an understanding of the various specialisms that make up St Mark’s. It was a great opportunity to get a good look behind the scenes and to put our fundraising efforts into perspective. The money we've raised so far has obviously gone a long way towards making FLEX a reality in the not too distant future and transforming the treatment of bowel cancer.
The tour and talks included a detailed explanation of FLEX, a demonstration of virtual colonoscopy, an insight into the mind-blowing technology associated with tissue engineering, a fascinating insight into bowel disorders from a paediatrician's perspective and, finally, the opportunity to talk directly with the doctors and fellow 40tude supporters.
It was a truly inspirational evening. Here is what some of the attendees said afterwards:
"The tour was truly fascinating and we all felt very welcome. I think we all knew that the St Mark's team were a very talented group - but the scope and scale of what they are working on was mind blowing."
"It really helped to bring my understanding full circle. I left feeling very humbled by the experience. I am really proud to be a part of this!"
"It was really quite inspirational - and so nice to meet so many lovely people and see what goes on behind the scenes... quite an eye opener..."
If you missed this opportunity but would like to be invited to a future visit to St Mark's Hospital, please contact: Kate@40tude.org.uk
On 15th December 2012, 40tude supporter Brian Kilpatrick set off to tackle The Annapurna Circuit, a high altitude trek in the mountains in the Himalayas. He trekked for 18 days, sleeping in sub-zero temperatures and reaching an altitude of above 5000m. Why? To support 40tude FLEX project currently underway at St Mark's Hospital of course!
Brian has raised over £5000 for 40tude. Amazing! If you would like to support Brian, please visit:www.bmycharity.com/briankilpatrick. His trip, organised by 'Exodus', is entirely self-funded, so every penny you give directly supports the FLEX project.
Many thanks to Susan Cartwright for hosting a Boden Party at her home in Hampshire on behalf of 40tude curing colon cancer in November 2012.
Boden Parties allow customers to see the new Season's range and also to 'try on' before purchasing (for the uninitiated, Boden is a mail order clothing business!). The event was well attended with about 40 customers, many who bought on the night, encouraged by the charitable status of the party. £250 was raised for 40tude.