MEMBER NEWS: bp employee to cycle over 200 miles to raise funds for Myeloma UK after the charity’s clinical trial improved his father’s quality of life

March 7, 2024
MEMBER NEWS: bp employee to cycle over 200 miles to raise funds for Myeloma UK after the charity’s clinical trial improved his father’s quality of life

David Boyd, whose dad Allan was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer that occurs in the bone marrow, will join 70 current and former bp colleagues on a Coast 2 Coast cycle to raise money for the charity he credits with extending his dad’s life. 

The bp Coast 2 Coast cycle will cover 225 miles between Dumfries and Aberdeen over three days, from 31st of May 2024. The endurance challenge, now in its 15th year, will raise money for The Archie Foundation’s child bereavement service, Stella’s Voice, Independence from Drugs and Alcohol Scotland at River Garden, and Myeloma UK. 

David, project operations squad lead at bp, who has participated in the energy company’s Coast 2 Coast cycle four times previously, was inspired to nominate Myeloma UK because of the support his family received following his father’s diagnosis last year. 

Despite being the third most common type of blood cancer, affecting over 24,000 people in the UK,  myeloma is especially difficult to detect as symptoms, including back pain, easily broken bones, fatigue and recurring infection, are often linked to general ageing or minor conditions. 

David said: “It was a big shock for the whole family when my dad was diagnosed. No-one wants to hear a family member has cancer. 

“Dad is a keen hillwalker who has completed all his Munros and Corbetts and was working his way through the Grahams (hills between 2000 and 2500ft) when he was diagnosed. He was experiencing pain in his hip which was causing him to limp but because he is a hillwalker, we didn’t think much of it. It was only when he had a scan that a growth the size of a tennis ball was discovered on his pelvis as well as growths on his rib and spine. 

“Thanks to Myeloma UK, he has been part of a drug trial and received a stem cell transplant to try to limit the impact of the disease on his life.  Without the drug trial, I don’t know how long Dad would have had. He’s since become a grandfather. At 67 years old this was one of the things he still really wanted to achieve.” 

Having completed Coast 2 Coast four times previously David knows what to expect but with a seven-month-old baby, he says training has been more of a challenge this year. 

“Usually, I would cycle to and from work but not wanting to miss bathtime and bedtime with my son, it’s been harder to do that. I’ve completed training cycles up to 30 miles long and these will increase up to 70 miles before the end of May. Knowing the funds will go to drug trials and research to support people with myeloma will keep me going.” 

Over the past 14 years, the charity cycle has raised over two million pounds for local and national charities. The challenge is open to cyclists of all abilities with individuals covering their own accommodation and food costs. Each cyclist has a fundraising target of £1,000 and the total fundraising is split between the four charities. 

The bp Foundation matches money raised by bp employees – doubling the value of the contributions. 

As one of the four charities to benefit from fundraising this year, Matt Wynes, Director of Fundraising at blood cancer charity Myeloma UK, said:  

“We can’t thank David and his colleagues enough for their incredible support and for going above and beyond for the myeloma community.  

“We receive no core government funding for the work that we do so voluntary donations, fundraising, and gifts in wills are the lifeblood of Myeloma UK. It’s thanks to supporters like them that we can continue to fund vital research into new treatments, and ultimately a cure, as well as essential support services for patients, their families, and those affected by myeloma.” 

In addition to the cycle, a Coast 2 Coast ceilidh will take place at the University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Hall on Saturday, March 8 at 7.30 pm. Tickets are £35 and can be purchased here. Ceilidh band Ceilidh Fusion will be performing, and the ticket price includes stovies and a donation to Coast 2 Coast. There will also be the opportunity to take part in a raffle and other fundraising games on the night. 

To sponsor one of the four Coast 2 Coast charities, you can select your preferred cause and click the link below. 

Myeloma UK  

River Garden  

Stella’s Voice 

The Archie Foundation 

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