Members were so touched by the courage of a 28 year old man with incurable cancer that they had no hesitation in approving a proposal to donate £250 to his underfunded charity. For Gareth Emmerson, 28, of Ford, near Shrewsbury, who has Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone and tissue cancer which primarily affects teenagers and young adults, is to cycle 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats over 12 days starting at Land’s End on June 8. He is making the gruelling ride with his fiancé Zoe, to whom he is getting married in July, dad Andy and best pals to raise cash to research his illness. He already has raised over £53,000.
Over the past seven years he’s beaten cancer three times, but on each occasion it has returned more aggressively and spread to different parts of his body. Last November he found out it was back for a fourth time, now in his lungs, lymph nodes and brain, and his diagnosis became terminal. But rather than dwell on the news, warehouse manager Gareth wrote a bucket list and set himself the mammoth endurance challenge. The plan is to complete the cycling fundraiser before marrying his childhood sweetheart Zoe.
In response to a proposal by Rotarian Garth Joscelyne who knows the family, our club agreed to the donation. Said Garth: “I have known Gareth’s brother Sam for some time and of course got to hear of Gareth’s situation which was obviously very concerning. “Under the circumstances, I think this is a wonderful effort on his behalf to raise money for Sarcoma UK.”
Gareth hopes that part of his legacy will be increased awareness around the condition as well as vital funds to go towards research will help save young lives. “Sarcoma UK is the only national charity that funds vital research and campaigns for better treatments for all types of Sarcoma,” he said. “This is currently a hugely underfunded area. The charity gets no government funding whatsoever and because of that treatments and survival rates are not moving forward quickly enough. The first line drugs used to treat Sarcomas were developed 40 years ago. Any donations to help the charity will be hugely welcome.”
Gareth’s challenge is made all the more extraordinary by the fact he is training while having chemotherapy. He is currently in London where he is having regular chemo sessions at hospital.
To get behind Gareth’s fundraising mission visit justgiving.com/fundraising/teamgazemmerson There is a video on his JustGiving page where he explains a bit more about his illness and why he’s doing the ride. You can also follow his journey of chemo and cycling on his Instagram handle. He will be blogging the ride day by day @gaz_emmerson