Kim Craven has written the following article.

This cycle is in memory of my brother, Robin Wilkie, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 2005. Although he had symptoms six months prior to his diagnosis, sadly it wasn’t confirmed until he jaundiced in February. It was at this point that further tests were taken and he was diagnosed with Stage 3 of the disease, which meant that the only care he could receive was palliative. There is no blame here to the initial hospital for not picking up on his symptoms, as at the age of 49 it is not commonplace for this cancer to present.

As soon as Robin received his diagnosis, my sister Rhonda and I spent hours researching the internet for as much information as we could to see what alternative therapies there were, as conventional medicine appeared to be very aggressive and unfortunately, not ideal for Robin who had drug sensitivity.

However, our family is now aware of the research that is required to go into this disease and hence deciding to cycle the course from Anniesland to Ratho to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research.

We are sure that anyone who has lost a relative or friend to pancreatic cancer will understand the frustrations of this disease and the side effects caused by it.

Please have a look at the following website www.pcrf.org.uk. PCRF is the first national charity dedicated to raising new funds specifically for pancreatic cancer research and to lobbying existing major funders for a fairer allocation of research funding.

The cycle route that I have chosen, although lengthy, should not be too strenuous. I am a mere novice to cycling, so for anyone who knows me well enough, they’ll know that this will not be a breeze for me! I have no serious gear, my bike rattles and even as I write this I don’t even have a bell on it. Mind you the noise of the bike and me puffing at this point in time of my training is enough to make most people glance over their shoulder. But with only 7 weeks to go a bell is required as well as raising my fitness level. I have started my training, maybe overdid it a bit at the weekend by cycling from Ratho to Tollcross and back again – 16 miles. Not too bad on the way there, but the headwind on the way back was a nightmare, so cycling from West to East on the day should hopefully be a bit easier. And yes, I know some people do 16 miles on a daily basis travelling to and from work, but this is me we’re talking about!

The cycle is commencing at Lock 27 Anniesland, which is the nearest point on the canal where Robin lived, to Ratho, where I live. It is quite a well known route for charity cycles and a route I have wanted to do for a while but until now not had a real purpose to do so.

After mentioning it to a few people, I realised that it wasn’t just something that I could do. The people that are joining me now are doing so either because they knew Robin, they are sympathetic towards the cause or would just like the cycle and raise funds for pancreatic cancer research in the process.

Written August 2005