A Camerton man who has defied the odds to the amazement of Bath doctors is making his way around the British coastline on his trusty eighteen-year-old motorbike, while raising money for the Royal United Hospital.
Eight years ago Dave Cameron, 64, was told he had between 18 months and three years left to live after being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. With the help of a newly released cancer drug, Dave is still going strong and has decided to take on the 3,500-mile trip in a way of saying thank you to the RUH Oncology and Urology Departments.
Dave set off from the RUH on June 7 on his bike for the solo trip. The money raised will go towards the Forever Friends Appeal’s Cancer Care Campaign and Cancer Research UK. He’s expecting to take about 21 days to complete this epic challenge, before giving his weary motorbike a rest at the end of June.
Before even getting on his bike Dave has raised £1,500 that will be split between the two charities and is continuing to raise more through online donations.
Dave said: “My choice of these two charities is based on one being involved in the treatment of cancer patients locally and the other developing new and more effective treatments for the future. This seems to me to be a sensible way of splitting any sponsorship I manage to raise.”
He added: “I chose to ride around the whole coast of Britain for various reasons. Firstly, it’ll be a real challenge for me as my medication, although keeping me alive, tends to produce fatigue at times. Doing it by car would be much easier – I could just take naps in the car while completing the trip – but that wouldn’t be enough of a challenge.Initially my ‘future’ looked pretty bleak, but thanks to great treatment from RUH Bath and ground-breaking research by Cancer Research I’m still going strong over 8 years later – so it’s ‘pay-back time.
“I also hope to demonstrate that even after being diagnosed with cancer, in my case, advanced (metastatic) cancer, it’s still possible to live with the cancer rather than the cancer being allowed to take over your life completely. I’ve been really lucky.”
One in two people are affected by cancer and everyday lives are changed by this disease. The RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising a minimum of £8.5 million towards the build of a new Cancer Centre at the RUH in Weston, to replace the existing Cancer and Haematology Department from the 1940’s. The campaign has already raised £7.3million.
A Forever Friends Appeal spokeswoman said: “There is an amazing opportunity here at the RUH, not only to create a new physical building but to also take a more holistic approach to design and develop a pioneering Cancer Centre that is centred around the patient journey and healing process – which will transform care for thousands of patients at the Hospital from Bath, Somerset, Wiltshire and even further afield.
“Dave is an incredible person and we are completely in awe of this challenge and his determination to do something so good after being through so much. Such an inspiration! It’s people like Dave who are getting us one step closer to this amazing new Centre… so far the campaign has raised £7.3million which is amazing but there’s still a way to go, but all these steps are really adding up!”
To donate to Dave’s online fundraising page visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DaveCameron63