Former racing cyclist, journalist and author, Richard Moore, writes about why he’s supporting Pancreatic Cancer UK at the 2020 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 Charity of the Year and why the charity is so close to his heart.
My mum, Katherine, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2005 and passed away two and a half months later. She had just turned 59. It had taken nine months for her to get a diagnosis which was so frustrating for her. She had been getting mysterious pains in her abdomen for several months and the doctors kept going on wild goose chases trying to get to the bottom of it. At one point they thought it might just be gallstones or something less serious. When she finally got a proper scan and was told she had pancreatic cancer it was already too late. I’ll never forget her and my dad returning from hospital with this devastating news. It was a huge shock. It seemed to come from nowhere.
Richard and his mum
We didn’t know much about the disease at the time. We found that there wasn’t much information available. It would have been so helpful for us to have somewhere to go to get advice. We looked for help on the internet but a Google search only seemed to bring up horror stories. The outlook appeared so bleak that I was put off ever looking up pancreatic cancer again. It was terrifying seeing the survival stats without anything to soften the news. There didn’t seem to be anything positive to cling on too. It all felt very hopeless.
We really needed someone to tell us something constructive and help us with the practical side of what needed doing. Having someone on the other end of the phone would have been a huge comfort to us so I’m pleased that an organisation like Pancreatic Cancer UK now exists to offer other families advice. The charity is making a big difference to people affected by pancreatic cancer but more funding will help them to reach even more people who need their support.
I’m so pleased that I was able to help Pancreatic Cancer UK in their successful bid to be the Charity of the Year for the 2020 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100. I’m going to be taking on the ride with my dad, Brian, and my youngest brother, Peter – all in memory of Mum. Robin, my other brother, lives in Washington, DC and unfortunately won’t be able to travel to London but he will do his own ride and he will be with us in spirit on the day. It will be the first big ride we’ll take on together so I know it will be a very meaningful occasion and we’re all motivated to raise awareness of the disease. Cycling is very important to us as a family and although Mum wasn’t a cyclist herself she was hugely supportive of all of us in whatever we did. Without her, I don’t think I would have become a cyclist.
Richard with his Dad Brian and brothers Robin and Peter
The event will be six days before her birthday. She would have been 74 next year. Every year my dad, brothers and I light a candle to keep her memory alive. I know Mum would have really supported us raising awareness as well as funds to help people suffering from this awful disease.