Aug 14 2009 by Gregor White, Stirling Observer Friday
DETERMINED efforts in memory of a friend have helped ensure an alternative cancer therapy will soon be available to even more people.
Earlier this year Dollar’s Bruce Milroy contacted the Observer to say he was getting ready to take part in a gruelling sponsored cycle ride from Land’s End to John o’ Groats.
Accompanied by two friends this was to be a challenge inspired by close friend Paul Marshall who, at the time, was fighting cancer.
A swimmer who helped Team GB to a bronze medal in the 4x100m relay at the 1980 Moscow Olympics Paul had also been an RAF Squadron leader before going on to work with a highly successful management consultancy in Dollar.
After battling cancer for the past two years Paul sadly lost his fight for life on May 23 at the age of 48, leaving behind two sons and a wife who gave birth to a third child just last week.
Bruce, who worked with Paul at Ethos Consultancy, said that despite the sad news everyone involved was determined to go ahead with the ride and they did so recently, covering the 932 miles in nine days.
“I’m also 48 years old, so cycling over 100 miles a day for nine days was no mean feat and we were very proud to complete it with no major injuries or mishaps along the way,” he said.
More importantly, thanks to the many “kind and generous people” who donated beforehand, including the Rock and Road cycle shop in Bridge of Allan Bruce and his friends managed to raise just under £16,000 for the Cancer Thermal Ablation Fund with their efforts.
Donations were also collected en route with strangers in car parks, pubs and working men’s clubs along the way all digging deep for donations.
“Our aim was always to raise enough money to train one doctor in the use of this exciting non-toxic cancer treatment, and we achieved our goal,” he said.
“One doctor will be trained thanks to our efforts and will go on to treat hundreds of cancer sufferers - this will be Paul’s legacy.”
While most people think of cancer treatment in terms of chemotherapy, radiation treatment and surgery, thermal ablation works by applying heat energy and has been accepted as a form of treatment by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence).
A relative lack of awareness, however, means very few health professionals have been trained to provide the treatment.
It is this situation that the charity is trying to change.
More information on the Fund is available at www.rfablation.co.uk.