02nd, Sep 2013
Mr Mark Taylor, Consultant Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgeon at Kingsbridge Private Hospital in Belfast - part of The 3fivetwo Group, and the Mater, will take on the challenge of a lifetime by participating in “The Raid Alpine,” a cycling route for road bikers starting from Geneva to Nice over the course of 10 days; all in aid of the charity, Bowel Cancer UK.
Along with a team of 9 other colleagues from the medical professionals from across Northern Ireland, Mark decided to take on the mammoth trip, which will cover 712km, including 31 mountain passes and 17, 485m of climbing, after realising his own health was at risk due to a lack of exercise.
“At the start of this year, I was struggling to throw a rugby ball around with the kids,” Mark explains. “I realised that I was overweight, unfit and that something needed to change. So I dusted off the bike in the garage. However, with those first few miles of puffing and panting came the thought that I needed a challenge. So when I discovered the Raid Alpine for Bowel Cancer UK, I leapt at the opportunity.”
Bowel cancer is Northern Ireland's second biggest cancer killer and as a liver surgeon, Mark has extensive experience in operating on people with bowel cancer that has spread to the liver. Over 1,100 people are diagnosed with the disease every year and it is estimated to cause the deaths of over 400 people in Northern Ireland each year, despite the fact that it is very treatable if caught early. Bowel Cancer UK aims to save lives and improve the quality of life for all those affected by bowel cancer. All money raised will be used locally to help those affected by bowel cancer in Northern Ireland.
Bernadette McGarry, Health Promotion and Outreach Officer for Bowel Cancer UK in Northern Ireland says: "Without people like Mark doing amazing fundraising events like this, Bowel Cancer UK couldn’t continue to do the vital work it does to save lives and improve the quality of life for all those affected by bowel cancer. Better still, all the money raised will be used to support the work we do here in Northern Ireland.”
Despite the prevalence of Bowel cancer in the UK, many people are still unaware of the symptoms. However, major advances in liver surgery have helped to improve survival in patients with cancer spread to the liver, which Mark is happy to explain.
“We have made significant progress over the last two decades in liver resection for people with colon cancer that has spread to the liver,” Mark says. “However, we need to continue to research, educate and develop new strategies in the management of bowel cancer which is why I am raising money for Bowel Cancer UK who have been instrumental in highlighting this disease in Northern Ireland with campaigns to raise awareness, campaigning for best treatment and care and providing practical support and advice.”
We wish him and the team the best of luck in completing this amazing challenge!
Kingsbridge Private Hospital in Belfast is part of The 3fivetwo Group.
To find out more about the charity and community work The 3fivetwo Group has been involved in – Click here
Find out more about Bowel Cancer UK – Click here
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