John Walsh, 50, works as a CAD technician for a survey company. A friend of his brought Yorkshire Cancer Research to his attention, along with some of the worrying Yorkshire cancer statistics, such as studies that show that people in Yorkshire are more likely to get cancer and die from it than in most other parts of England. Through this, John saw an opportunity to get signed up for the Selby Three Swans Sportive.
He explains his motivations to us: “Given those statistics, I thought that I should use my pedal power to contribute something. And as a Yorkshireman with cancer down both sides of the family, I have a vested interest.”
There are many reasons for poor cancer outcomes in Yorkshire, including social deprivation, disparities in available healthcare, our industrial heritage and lifestyle choices. There are also clear disparities in the availability of healthcare services, for example in urban, rural and coastal communities and inequalities in accessing an early diagnosis, clinical trials and the latest treatments. If Yorkshire matched the best-performing local authority in England, we could save 2,000 more lives every year. Which is exactly why we’ve committed to spending £100m to achieve this by 2025.
For John, training involves commuting some or all of the 20 mile sportive route to work each day and some longer rides including hill work on weekends (he jokes “I recommend the Ripon to Pateley Bridge road for those fond of suffering”). We’re sure he’ll find the flat countryside that surrounds Selby a breeze by comparison!
If you want to help support John and help tackle cancer in Yorkshire, you can visit his Everyday Hero page here.