‘Move For Meso’ Challenge Coinciding With Bike Week
A former ceiling tile fitter from Harrogate living with an asbestos-related cancer has revealed how his hobby of cycling has helped him cope with his illness during lockdown and helping him remain fit for future treatment.
Bob McBratney was diagnosed with mesothelioma last September. A terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs, mesothelioma is most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos decades previously.
Following his diagnosis, Bob, of Copgrove, instructed specialist asbestos-related lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to act on his behalf in relation to securing funds for future specialist treatment and care.
Now, Bob, 64, is raising funds for charity with his legal team after being able to purchase an electric bike to help keep himself fit during the coronavirus lockdown. Bob has decided to take part in ‘Move for Meso’ - the latest campaign launched by charity Mesothelioma UK encouraging its supporters to collectively cover 5,000km in five weeks by walking, running, jogging or cycling.
Bob’s challenge also coincides with Cycling UK’s Bike Week, which runs from 6 to 14 June and showcases the benefits of the activity.
Expert Opinion“It is great to see how Bob has remained positive throughout his treatment to date and continues to help support other people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma whilst also living with mesothelioma himself.
Through our work, we sadly see many people affected by this type of cancer, which causes severe breathlessness among other debilitating symptoms. Bob’s determination to battle through the disease whilst remaining fit and active with his cycling is nothing short of extraordinary.
Fortunately, we have successfully secured essential funds for treatment and care for Bob in the future, and in the meantime we will continue to support him however we can.”
Nicola Handley - Senior Associate Solicitor
Prior to his diagnosis, Bob was working as a magician and property manager. He was fit and well, and enjoyed cycling regularly.
In September 2018, Bob’s best friend was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He had also worked as a ceiling tile fitter in the 1970s. As a result, Bob decided to get himself checked out. He was diagnosed with pleural plaques, which is a common sign of asbestos exposure, but nothing came of it.
Approximately nine months later, he started suffering from breathlessness. He underwent further investigations and was diagnosed with mesothelioma in September 2019.
Bob’s wife Joanne and son Henry have been a great support following his diagnosis, as well as the rest of his family and friends.
He said: “My life has changed dramatically since I was diagnosed. I am unable to enjoy a lot of the activities that I did before such as helping the scouting community and supporting our local church. Even walking the dog can now be a struggle.
“However, I was very keen to get back to cycling as it was an activity that Joanne and I enjoyed together, and it is important for me to stay as fit as possible to ensure I can continue my treatment. Joanne has also now purchased an electric bike so that we can get out more together.
“Cycling has given me back some of my independence, and I am really pleased to be able to raise funds with my legal team for the Move For Meso campaign. The charity’s work is vital in supporting people in the same situation as I am.
“While I know there will come a day when I am no longer here for Joanne and Henry, I want to stay optimistic and do as much as I can to extend my time with them.”