Triple cancer survivor Patrick McIntosh FRSA has completed his extraordinary journey by arriving in Tokyo - more than four months after leaving Twickenham Stadium on his bicycle.
63-year-old rugby fan Patrick has survived bowel, prostate and skin cancer and has been spreading awareness and raising funds for charity by cycling across the world. He attended the opening match of the Rugby World Cup in Japan (on Friday September 20), after pedalling nearly 7,200 miles to get there.
Patrick, a grandfather and financial adviser from Surrey, set off from Twickenham Stadium on Saturday May 4 with the support of the England Rugby Football Union and actress Dame Judi Dench. He then cycled through Holland, Germany, Denmark and Sweden before riding his bike across the whole of Russia in just three months.
Patrick arrived in Japan earlier this month and has enjoyed touring the islands of Shikoku and Honshu on the final stretch to Tokyo. Unfortunately, his journey was not all smooth riding: Patrick had his bike stolen in Russia, battled extreme weather conditions (including severe flooding and Siberian forest fires) and suffered from gout due to dehydration.
Through his efforts he has so far raised at least £50,000 for the World Cancer Research Fund UK and St Catherine’s Hospice, in Crawley, West Sussex, two causes very close to his heart.
Patrick himself said after finishing his journey:
“I am delighted to have reached Tokyo after so many miles on the road. It’s been a bit hairy at times but I’ve beaten three cancers and had major surgery, so I am proud to have been able to do this and prove what’s possible after cancer.
I’ve done the whole journey on a vegan diet and I want to encourage everyone to eat better food, and to take some exercise if you can to reduce your risk of getting cancer in the first place. I also want to encourage people to stay positive and take a proactive approach to their health, not ignoring any warning signs or symptoms, because early diagnosis saves lives.”
Marilyn Gentry, Founder of World Cancer Research Fund, said:
“A huge congratulations to Patrick for reaching the Rugby World Cup in Tokyo! It has been inspiring watching Patrick’s challenge unfold on social media. Everyone here at WCRF is very proud of him and what he has achieved. We are honoured that he chose to champion us and our vital cancer prevention and survival work."
Giles Tomsett, Chief Executive of St Catherine’s Hospice, said:
“I just want to say a huge thank you and ‘bravo!’ to Patrick from everyone at the hospice. So many local people will benefit from your outstanding effort and all the awareness raised."
Dame Judi Dench, who lives near to Patrick in Surrey, is among those supporting Patrick’s journey. Before he left, she gave him a lucky charm that was attached to his bike. Dame Judi said:
“Patrick’s taken on an extraordinary journey. He’s doing this ‘Life Cycle’ in order to make us all aware of how important it is to eat properly, to exercise properly, to think positively and to be able to recognise cancer early so that something can be done about it."
For the latest updates on Patrick's Life Cycle, please follow him on Twitter. If you would like to make a donation to Patrick’s chosen charities, please visit his Virgin Money Giving page.