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Cancer patients fast-paced challenge

Cancer patients Jo Green and Rachel Burch joined a team of 50 other patients, nurses, doctors and friends from around Southampton to ride from London to Paris in 24 hours.

Inspired to raise awareness of neuroendocrine cancer and help provide the best new treatments the PLANETS team (part of Southampton Hospital Charity) set off from Buckingham Palace on Friday 24 June.  After a gruelling 100km in the saddle they crossed the English Channel from Newhaven to Dieppe before getting back on their bikes at 5am for another 200km to Paris.

Speaking about her motivation for the ride, Jo said, “In October 2011 I was diagnosed with incurable neuroendocrine cancer.  This was a pretty devastating blow that has been difficult to come to terms with but, after major surgery at the end of 2011 at Southampton General Hospital, I am feeling better than I have for years.”

Jo is using her experience to inspire others with cancer and to help raise money for vital new treatments.

“My involvement with PLANETS gives me hope for my future and is a positive outcome to what, at times, is a difficult situation,” she explained. “So when Consultant Radiologist and co-founder of PLANETS, Brian Stedman sent an email about cycling from London to Paris in 24 hours, I felt I couldn't say no!”

She continued, “This is without doubt, my toughest challenge to date.  I have had to buy a road bike, get used to cycling it and most importantly, get cycle fit, putting aside other exercise that I enjoy more and spending weekends cycling rather than socialising.”   

Rachel’s participation in the event is even more remarkable.  Diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy in 2005, at the age of 34, she underwent chemotherapy and multiple rounds of pioneering surgery in Southampton.  Rachel said, “I am now a proud mother to a 10 year old boy and whilst treatment is on-going it is with great gratitude that as a result of the pioneering work of Consultant Surgeon, Mr Pearce and his team, I remain well enough to be part of the PLANETS London to Paris relay team – a real privilege.”

Further details are available from and donations to the PLANETS LP24 team can be made at

Our thanks to all of the sponsors, including Snows Group for the support vehicles, Geestline for the 300 bananas supplying the much needed energy, and all of the other vital sponsors. We couldn't have done it without you.

We are so proud that LP24 TEAM PLANETS all made it safe and sound to Paris in 24 hours! No words can explain the amazing team effort from all involved in PLANETS biggest ever fundraiser - fantastic friends and wonderful memories have been made and the experience for all was incredible. What an achievement! 

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