Cyclists gear up for latest Life Cycle challenge

04 Mar 2014 10:06:56.647

PA 57/14 

A team of volunteers from The University of Nottingham are once again taking on a major cycling challenge, and this time will be raising money for children’s brain tumour research.

This year, the Life Cycle 4 challenge will be in support of the University’s Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre (CBTRC), with each cyclist riding in honour of a patient who has battled the disease.

The Life Cycle route is more than 1,400 miles taking in the four corners of Great Britain. The team leave Land’s End on the 14th August 2014 and ride via Dover and Durness to arrive at John O’Groats on 30th August 2014. 

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Around 500 children and young people a year in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour - nearly 10 a week – and a quarter of all childhood cancers occur in the brain. Survival rates have improved over the last 20 years but brain tumours remain the leading cause of cancer deaths in children.

The CBTRC was established in 1997 and brings together a multi-disciplinary team of leading healthcare professionals and researchers committed to improving the understanding of childhood brain tumours.

Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, is getting in the saddle for the fourth consecutive year. This year, he will be riding in honour of Sam White, who sadly died aged 16 in September last year from a brain tumour.

Professor Greenaway said: “Any premature death is a tragedy but as a parent myself, I cannot begin to imagine what it feels like to learn your child is suffering from a life threatening disease. I have been privileged to meet some of the patients being treated by our team and their families and I have been struck by their tremendous bravery and dignity when faced with the most difficult of circumstances. One remarkable young man, Sam White, sticks out in my mind. Sam was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 12 and responded by being determined to live life to the full and do all he could to raise awareness of the disease.

“For the last three years together with colleagues, I have spent two weeks of my annual leave cycling over 1,100 miles to raise funds for a worthy cause. Shortly after Sam died, his mother wrote to ask me to raise funds for Children’s Brain Tumour Research, so this year I will be cycling to the four corners of Britain in honour of Sam with the Life Cycle 4 team to do what I can to help young people like him and their families in the future.”

Professor Greenaway will be one of 15 riders supporting the invaluable work being done at the Centre.

Sam White’s mum, Pam White said: “Sam was realistic and saw that others just didn't get the impact of a brain tumour on your life. So he thought he would do something about that, and he did. He worked hard on enlightening and raising awareness in as many people as possible, using his charm and natural ability to engage with people. Whether at school or in the European Parliament he just chatted to people, his ready enthusiasm carrying things along and collecting people as he went. We always said that those who met Sam took a little bit of him away with them in their hearts, and so he will never be forgotten as someone will be thinking of him.

“Sam could not meet his last challenge and left us peacefully on 3rd September 2013. He had long ago given us his expectation that if he was no longer here we should continue raising awareness about brain tumours, because if we didn't what was the point in all he was doing! So here we are doing our best to continue to raise awareness and funds, still missing him so very much, but doing as he said and being out there and telling the story.

“We think this is a wonderful tribute to everybody not just Sam but we know Sam would be honoured and delighted to think that the Vice-Chancellor is doing this. It is also good that our family and friends can support everyone that is taking part wherever they are in the country or on the route.”

For more information on the Life Cycle 4 challenge – visit the Life Cycle 4 website or to see a video of the Vice-Chancellor talking about Sam and an interview with Sam himself - then you can view a video at

— Ends —

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university among graduate employers, the world’s greenest university, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits


Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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