Doctor cycles 380 miles in support of cancer charity

Chris (right) with fellow rider Brendan Dykes.

Chris (right) with fellow rider Brendan Dykes. - Credit: Archant

A Harpenden doctor cycled from London to Paris to raise money for his wife after she was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Chris at the Eiffel Tower finish.

Chris at the Eiffel Tower finish. - Credit: Archant

GP Chris Quartly, 60, who works in Dunstable, completed the 308-mile journey just two weeks after a car knocked him off his bike.

Chris’s wife, Liz, was diagnosed with cancer in November 2015 and benefited from the services of cancer charity Penny Brohn UK. When the couple saw the charity needed London-Paris bike ride participants Chris, a keen cyclist of five years, signed up to take part and thank the charity.

After four months of training leading up to the ride in July, Chris was hit by a car.

He said: “I was hurt quite badly and went to hospital. It was touch and go whether I’d take part, but I wanted to for Liz and the great charity that helped her come to terms with the disease.”

Chris en route.

Chris en route. - Credit: Archant

Chris raised around £1,500 in total for the charity. The ride took four days, and the participants cycled from Kent to Dover, then took the ferry to Calais and cycled through the French countryside before reaching Paris and visiting the Champs Elysées, Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower.

Chris said: “It was a superb ride, beautiful countryside and the best bit was stopping at the Somme war memorials and spotting a long-lost relative’s name who had fought and died there.

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“The finish was also spectacular, a day ahead of the Tour de France, with crowds cheering and welcoming us as we crossed the line.

“There were also tough bits, the toughest being the first day and the steep north and south downs before Dover.”

Penny Brohn aims to support people with cancer and their families to find resources to help them before, during and after treatment. The charity explores areas such as diet, exercise, relationships and managing stress, and offers free courses, one-to-one therapies, groups, a treatment support clinic and a national helpline.

Penny Brohn spokeswoman Sarah Godfrey said: “We can’t thank Chris enough for conquering all obstacles and persevering through obstacles to beat the London-Paris ride. It’s a true test of endurance and he should be immensely proud.

“Without devoted fundraisers like Chris, we couldn’t continue to reach people and families needing our life-changing, free support.”