Putting our region's cancer needs first

80 Year Old Leigh Man Cycles 80 Miles After Beating Prostate Cancer

An 80-year-old Leigh man who recently recovered from prostate cancer has cycled 80 miles to raise vital funds for cancer research across the region.

Bill Hurst during the Cycle of Hope, with family

Grandfather of five, Bill Hurst, who lives in Atherton, joined over 120 keen cyclists to conquer the North West Cancer Research Cycle of Hope and raised over £1,000 for the Charity.

Not content with completing the 60 mile Cycle course, Bill was joined by members of his immediate family to ride an additional 20 miles along the coast from Southport to Formby, bringing his total achievement to 80 miles, to mark his recent milestone birthday.

After being persuaded to go to the doctor by two friends at his cycling club, Bill was diagnosed with prostate cancer on New Year’s Eve 2019. He underwent two years of intensive treatment and was given the all-clear in April this year.

Rediscovering a love of cycling after retiring from his job as a high school teacher, Bill spent his first year of treatment cycling over 5,000 miles, despite feeling extremely weak due to receiving hormone treatment.

After taking an interest in the funding and research that was required to develop the much-needed Covid vaccine, Bill was inspired to use his hobby to raise money to support cancer research.

Bill Hurst commented: “After discovering how important research is in understanding and treating all forms of cancer, I was determined to do my bit and give back to a Charity that does such great work in our region.

“I’m passionate about raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer – if it wasn’t for my friends at the cycling club who told me to get tested, I might not be here today.

“Cycling was a huge part of my life throughout my treatment and it's amazing to be able to get on my bike and cycle 80 miles – at the time I thought I’d never recover. I’m extremely grateful to the Urology Unit at Leigh Infirmary, the radiographers at Salford Royal and Macmillan nurses for the wonderful treatment and support I received.

“The Cycle was a huge challenge, especially in the wind, but my family got me through and it was amazing to have them by my side.

“My goal for this year is to ride Wales end to end for Cardiff to Holyhead and do some volunteering where I can too – I’ll keep going as long as I can!”

The North West Cancer Research Cycle of Hope started and finished at Southport Rugby Club and offered participants either a gentle 60km route or a more challenging 60mile course, circling the Lancashire and Merseyside countryside.

Over £20,000 has been raised through the event so far, which will support life-saving cancer research and education projects in the North West. 

Alastair Richards, CEO North West Cancer Research, added: “It was amazing to be able to hit the road again for our most popular event, the Cycle of Hope.

“We extend a huge congratulations to Bill on such a wonderful achievement – stories like this are exactly why we do the Cycle each year.

“We’re extremely grateful to everyone who braved the windy weather in support of such an important cause, and to our sponsors, Brown Turner Ross, for helping to make the event possible.

“To see so many people come together was wonderful and the funds raised will have a huge impact on continuing to fund vital research across our region, now and in the future.”

North West Cancer Research is an independent charity dedicated to putting the region’s cancer needs first by funding pioneering research and education to tackle the cause, improve the care and find the cure for cancer.