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FOUNDATION OF LIGHT
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3 hours ago

RT @PLCommunities: Delivered by 25 clubs with over 19,000 participants benefiting, the PL/BT Disability Programme continues to grow and mak…

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RT @PLCommunities: A very warm welcome to all 25 teams participating in today's #PLBTDisability Festival 🔊You'll want the sound on for thi…

5 hours ago

Seats out @FoL_Beacon ready to welcome hundreds of families this morning for #FLGrads https://t.co/VAMHdlwTfQ

17 hours ago

RT @mcolclough: Was privileged to be part of a great scheme today with @futureme_ne @SAFCFoL , all the young people done themselves proud w…

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RT @teampumasfutsal: This Sunday we welcome @Bhamfutsalclub @PYFSaltires @YorkCity_Futsal to the first ever Beacon Of Light Futsal Cup. Fi…

17 hours ago

RT @FoL_Beacon: Great opportunity to experience Futsal at the @SAFCFoL Beacon of Light. Join us Sunday 22nd July from 10am. https://t.co/…

20 hours ago

PLEASE NOTE: Following our recent move to the @FoL_Beacon, our main contact number has changed to 0191 5634777. https://t.co/2OlhhkhVAK

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RT @FoL_Beacon: We have a rare slot open on the Barn tomorrow night from 8pm till 9pm. If you would like to book this slot give us a call…

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23 hours ago

RT @futureme_ne: Finishing the day off with a game! Thanks for all your hard work over the last term, you’ve done yourself and your schools…

Jul 16

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Jul 16

RT @thisisthebigpic: Full day shoot @SunderlandAFC in conjunction with @SAFCFoL for the university ‘FutureMe’ 2018 projects #event photogra…

Jul 16

RT @SunderlandAFC: 🎶 'Who put the ball..." 🎶 Sit back, relax and enjoy some of Phillips' best #SAFC goals... 🤩 https://t.co/r31Y8jsoqo

Jul 16

RT @futureme_ne: We’re at the Stadium of Light today with @SAFCFoL for our second FutureMe Enterprise celebration event! We can’t wait to s…

Jul 16

EVENTS: Foundation of Light is hosting a special 5-a-side World Cup Corporate Tournament to celebrate the opening o… https://t.co/UkU1tH9Ezw

Jul 16

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Jul 16

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Alan takes on new challenge

4 February 2017

An inspirational Sunderland AFC supporter will take on an epic international cycle challenge this summer following a five-year battle with cancer.

Alan will join 40 riders to take on a gruelling 305-mile ride from Wroclaw in Poland to the Czech Republic capital Prague to raise funds for Foundation of Light.

It will be the second time the 63-year-old has taken part in the Foundations cycle challenges; last year he was part of a team who raised over £70,000 for SAFC’s official charity by cycling across France from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.

“I’ve always been active and competitive, really with myself,” Alan says. “I’ve always believed people want to do their best and the buzz you get from giving yourself aims and targets that challenge you really helps you throughout your life.

“I attend the SAFC Senior Supporters Club (SSC) meetings every month and had heard previously about the 2015 ride but knew I wouldn’t be in the condition to take part that year.

“I decided to increase the distance and frequency of my rides in the hope I would be in a better position to take part in the 2016 challenge. At the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 I was unable to train because of side effects of the chemotherapy.

“Once back on the bike I found that my fitness was improving rapidly so when going to the June SSC I asked for information on the Atlantic2Med Challenge which was only three weeks away.

“I took the details home and looked at them with my wife. We saw the support that would be given during the ride eliminated any worries my wife had in me taking part. I contacted the Foundation and signed up the next day.”

Alan’s world was shaken when he was diagnosed with stage four follicular lymphoma – a cancer which attacks the lymph nodes – in 2012

After being diagnosed your whole life changes, you have to trust all the wonderful people treating you. I went through chemotherapy and radiotherapy, then two years of medication, but eventually all my tumours went.
Even when I was having treatment I was out on my bike because it’s a way to escape.

Alan successfully completed the Atlantic2Med challenge, cycling 300-miles from Arcachon on the French east coast to Gruissan on the Mediterranean Sea alongside SAFC legend Marco Gabbiadini and riders from all walks of life.

Alan adds: “I didn’t know anyone who was riding but, as the ride progresses, you soon meet and chat with the riders and get to know who you can ride with for support and help to make the miles pass.

“I really enjoyed riding with a group and reaching speeds I haven’t been able to achieve for along time. But I knew I would have to curb my enthusiasm and settle into a more realistic pace for me.

“The camaraderie was great. The routes were all marked out and we were given support with hydration and nutrition throughout the day. You had contact details in case of mechanical problems while on the road. That gave me a lot of confidence and enhanced the whole experience.”

Despite his latest scan showing a new tumour in his neck, Alan is looking forward to the future and the challenges it will bring both in and out of the saddle.

“I know I’m going to get the support to help me achieve this goal. You’ve got to work towards it, you can’t just turn up on the day without preparation, that’s a good motivation.

“I’m coming back because you’ve got to have goals and challenges in life.”

The unique Wroclaw to Prague challenge starts on the 11th June and will take the Foundation riders through some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, climbing a total of 16,500 feet over four days – which Alan can’t wait to take on

“This year’s route looks really good,” he adds. “The Foundation are really enthusiastic about it – there will be some fantastic scenery and hills!

“Last year I didn’t have much preparation time and even though I have just had six weeks off the bike after becoming a proper cyclist but I’ll definitely be ready for this route.

“It’s a ‘Cycle Challenge’ but it’s achievable and if I’m struggling there will be people to help to get me through. There’s a fantastic support system.

“The best thing as far as I am concerned about the ride is knowing you’re going to be supported, by the organisers and the other riders. You’re never going to be alone and by the end of the journey you will have met and made a lot of good friends.”

The Wroclaw to Prague Cycle Challenge is supported by Grafton Group plc and OSE Euro.

To join Alan on this year’s ride, call Jemma Garrett on 0191 5515365 or email jemma.garrett@foundationoflight.co.uk.

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Seats out @FoL_Beacon ready to welcome hundreds of families this morning for #FLGrads https://t.co/VAMHdlwTfQ


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