Son bikes for lung cancer charity in memory of his dad

31 August, 2020 / by Matt Smith

Image above: Benedict Medlam, Benedict with his friends the ‘two Wills’ (Will Weston & Will Hodgetts) at Land’s End, Cornwall

Cycling enthusiast & west London resident, Benedict Medlam is biking nearly 1000 miles across the UK to raise money for a lung cancer charity in memory of his dad.

Ben, who is 23, graduated from the University of Manchester in June, with an MEng in Structural Engineering, but given the dire state of the job market, he decided to make use of his time this summer by organising a bike ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats with a couple of friends from university.

The group started off at Land’s End, Cornwall, on 26 August and hope to reach John O’Groats in Scotland within two weeks – in a journey they have christened as ‘The Great Pulmonary Pedal’.

“We headed off! Having departed Lands End this morning we have started our journey north, massive thank you to all those who have donated. Having smashed our initial target of £2000 we are in touching distance of £5000 – and hopefully much more!” said Ben in a post on Facebook.

Ben now hopes to raise at least £7,000 for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, in memory of his father, Jonathan Medlam, who recently passed away from the disease.

Images above: The group cycle down a country lane, a quick stop to admire the scenery in Holsworthy, taking a break on a bridge in Bath

‘A brutally unforgiving disease’

Mr Medlam appeared to have a minor cold at first, but his condition quickly deteriorated and resulted in respiratory failure, which put him in Charing Cross Intensive Care Unit for two weeks.

He was diagnosed with incurable stage 4 lung cancer in October 2019, and passed away on 13 August.

“Cancer is a brutally unforgiving disease” said Ben, “its appearance is just as sudden and unpredictable as the way it develops”.

Lung cancer is by far the most common cause of cancer deaths in men in the UK, accounting for around a fifth (21%) of all male cancer deaths in 2017 – this is partly because of a lack of screening and it being a particularly virulent disease that is usually caught late, once it has already spread to other parts of the body.

“That’s why we’re raising money for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, the only lung cancer specific charity in the UK. They focus on research, support and alleviating the stigma attached to this particular cancer which, despite being one of the most common and deadliest, is also generally regarded as self-inflicted and unsavoury” Ben continued.

“Very sadly my father died on 13 August but I’m sure he will be with me every one of those 1000 miles”.

If you’d like to follow ‘The Great Pulmonary Pedal’s progress, you can ‘like’ their Facebook page below:

facebook.com/The-Great-Pulmonary-Pedal

If you wish to make a donation, please follow the link below:

justgiving.com/fundraising/thegreatpulmonarypedal

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Construction of temporary Cycleway 9 due to start

See also: ‘Big river cleanup’ planned to raise funds for London Harbourmaster