Asbestos Related Disease Experts At Irwin Mitchell Supported Him Throughout Tour De France Ride
A double cancer-sufferer given only months to live has completed a leg of the Tour de France - described by seven-time race winner Lance Armstrong as ‘the toughest climb you can take on in France’ – raising hundreds for prostate cancer and mesothelioma charities in the process.
Malcolm Davidson completed the 136km Cingles du Mont Ventoux in eight hours and 40 minutes, fighting through a searing 42 degree heat and consuming 10 litres of fluid along the way.
71-year-old Malcolm was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007. During ongoing and routine monitoring he was found to have the terminal asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma in January 2011, and was given just months to live.
Yet despite his diagnosis, Malcolm, from Rothwell, Leeds, affectionately known as ‘Mad Mal’ to his friends and family, completed the gruelling leg of the Tour de France this June - a route he has already cycled a staggering 13 times previously – before enjoying several other rides across Europe and returning back to the UK.
Malcolm is currently working with asbestos related disease experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell, who have sent proceedings to be issued in the Royal Courts of Justice against his former employers in a battle for justice following his exposure to the deadly dust which caused mesothelioma.
The firm is now encouraging people to support Malcolm and the charities to honour his amazing achievement.
Ian Toft, a solicitor in the industrial illness team at Irwin Mitchell who is supporting Malcolm in his claim, said: “Malcolm is a true inspiration. He has shown tremendous courage already to go through chemotherapy once, and to be told again that you have another form of cancer must be devastating.
“However, Malcolm showed incredible determination to somehow complete what is an extremely difficult challenge even for the fittest of riders, let alone someone who has been through so many difficulties.
“We see many cases of mesothelioma at Irwin Mitchell, every one of which is a tragedy – but Malcolm’s challenge and his incredible attitude are amazing.”
Malcolm said: “It felt amazing to get to that finish line. I felt ecstatic during that final ascent, knowing I had completed my challenge – going through those bends at 45mph was fantastic.
“My motivation during the challenge was to think “How low and weak did I feel during chemotherapy, compared to today, doing this mighty challenge?”. The chemotherapy was always the worst of the two.”
“There are days when the full reality of my illness hits me, but I always get up and get on my bike. Cycling is my form of escape, and helps me feel alive. Just because I have cancer does not mean I have to stop living!
“Chemotherapy was a horrific ordeal, but the oncologist who treated me last year told me that my body dealt with it very well, both mentally and physically, and that it was largely due to my cycling. I cannot thank enough Dr. Mike Snee and his team at the Bexley wing of St. James’s University Hospital, Leeds for getting me back into the saddle.
“I'm just determined to keep going, and keeping fit can only help my chances. I also couldn’t do it without those around me; my wife and family, and my cycling group, the Seacroft Wheelers, have all been more supportive than I could ever imagine. My wife was fantastic during the ride, and provided me with everything I needed – in many ways her job was as hard as mine!
I was honoured to be named Club Member of the Year 2011 for my effort in undergoing chemotherapy, and it is humbling to be given the accolade by such close friends.”
Malcolm added: “I wanted to do this challenge to prove that the illness has not beaten me and to raise funds to help others suffering from cancer. I am not the type of person who is easily defeated; I didn’t get the nickname ‘Mad Mal’ for nothing!”
Donations can still be made to Malcolm to support his charities - simply visit his Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/cingles to give to the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund and www.justgiving.com/Malcolm-Davidson2 for The Prostate Cancer Charity.