Bike ride realises £25,000 for research

Jon Birchall NNL-150610-140725001
Jon Birchall NNL-150610-140725001

A terminally ill man’s round-Britain motorcycle ride to raise funds for others with kidney cancer came to an end with £25,000 in the fund.

Jon Birchall set out to raise money for the James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer after being given 30-40 months to live.

The money he has raised will fund vital research into earlier diagnosis and better treatments for a cancer that is often silent and hidden.

“Receiving the news that my kidney cancer had spread and my prognosis was terminal had a devastating effect on my wife Sarah and me,” said Mr Birchall, 55, formerly of Bloxham and recently moved to Herefordshire.

“I made up my mind to do everything I could to prevent other people suffering the same fate. Early diagnosis is simply the difference between life and death. In my case two years were lost before the disease was correctly diagnosed.”

A doctor in Bloxham sent Mr Birchall for a scan at the Horton after investigating his persistent exhaustion. Radiographers found a lump the size of a grapefruit.

Despite operations the disease spread to his lungs. Mr Birchall – a former BBC Farmer of the Year – began his 5,000 mile trip in June and ended the five stage ride on September 30 at the Royal Free Hospital, London.