Top marks as maths lecturer fundraises on final commute
A maths lecturer swapped the comfort of his car for an arduous journey on cycle, foot and ferry as he commuted to work for the final time.
Dr Michael McCabe, aged 64, left his home in Sway in the New Forest at 6am to cycle to Lymington where he boarded the Wightlink ferry to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. From there he pedalled to Fishbourne to board a second ferry across the Solent to Portsmouth. He was then back in the saddle to complete his commute to the University of Portsmouth for his last day before retirement.
There was an air of nostalgia as he set off as, 17 years ago, he made the route famous when his trip there and back – first adopted to beat four-hour train delays – hit the headlines. He used the route for his daily commute for a number of years before giving up as he needed the time to train for a marathon.
Friday’s journey (7th September) was raising money for the Brain Tumour Research charity which funds continuous and sustainable research into brain tumours. Michael’s effort was applauded by his friend, Professor Geoff Pilkington, an Isle of Wight resident, who leads the team who are conducting research into the disease at the Centre of Excellence at the University of Portsmouth. The two men have become friends during Michael’s 28 years at the university.
Michael was accompanied on his journey by fellow cyclist David Johnsen, from Bransgore.
Mathematician Michael said: “Cycling my infamous route for the final time was a fantastic way to mark my retirement and, after many years of riding alone, it was wonderful to be joined by David. After being inspired by the incredible work that Geoff and his team does, I’m proud to have raised over £1,000 for Brain Tumour Research.”
Michael was determined to celebrate his retirement after suffering from a life-threatening auto-immune disease in 2016, which left him in intensive care and almost forced him to stop work.
Michael added: “I’m privileged to have worked at the university for almost three decades and have met some great people in that time, who have all supported me with my fundraising. Through Geoff’s work I learned of the severity of brain tumours and I want to continue to raise awareness for research into this dreadful disease.”
Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Tim Green, Senior Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer and we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful to Michael and David for their support and would like to encourage others to fundraise for this vital cause.
“The money raised will help us in our mission to build a network of experts in sustainable research. We are funding dedicated UK Centres of Excellence – including the one at the University of Portsmouth – where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.”
To sponsor Michael, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/isle
For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867239 or 07591 206545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors
Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK dedicated to raising funds for continuous and sustainable scientific research into brain tumours, and we are a leading voice calling for greater support and action for research into what scientists are calling the last battleground against cancer.
We are building a network of experts in sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence whilst influencing the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more nationally.
We welcome recent funding announcements for research into brain tumours from the UK Government and Cancer Research UK – £65 million pledged over the next five years. However, this potential funding of £13 million a year comes with a catch – money will only be granted to quality research proposals and, due to the historic lack of investment, there may not be enough of these applications that qualify for grants from this pot.
We want research funding parity with breast cancer and leukaemia. We are calling for a £30-35 million investment every year for research into brain tumours in order to fund the basic research groundwork needed to accelerate the translation from laboratory discoveries into clinical trials and fast-track new therapies for this devastating disease.
The Brain Tumour Research charity is a powerful campaigning organisation and represents the voice of the brain tumour community across the UK. We helped establish and provide the ongoing Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Brain Tumours (APPGBT). We are supporting the crucial APPGBT 2018 Inquiry into the economic and social impacts of brain tumours and will publish their report in the autumn. We are also a key influencer in the development strategy for the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission.
Key statistics on brain tumours:
- Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age
- Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
- Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours
- In the UK, 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour
- Brain tumours kill more children than leukaemia
- Brain tumours kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer
- Brain tumours kill more women under 35 than breast cancer
- Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers
Please quote Brain Tumour Research as the source when using this information. Additional facts and statistics are available from our website. We can also provide case studies and research expertise for the media.