Doug Tannahill

Although I'm a bit of a fitness nut and someone who has always enjoyed playing high level sports, I only got on a road bike less than a year ago so this challenge will be a new one for me!

I work as an Osteopath at CHHP in Harley Street. CHHP was the clinic where a great man named Chris Seery visited with regularity in the past.

In early 2010 Chris Seery was diagnosed with late stage bowel cancer (right Hemicolon and splenic flexure -mucinous/signet ring adenocarcinoma) HNPCC phenotype. After a year of failed operations, acute septicaemia, open wounds, a stoma, 80 pounds of weight loss and 12 cycles of chemotherapy he was given the all clear. Three months later, an operation to reverse the stoma and rebuild his abdomen wall found a rare and potentially incurable progression of the disease. Another 12 cycles of chemotherapy and different treatment protocols to ward off further progression.

Through all of this, incredibly, Chris became fit and as healthy as he could, which allowed him to better tolerate the toxic treatment and participate in life with his family. Chris’ health and tremendous fitness was attributed to the incredible support and guidance of the team at CHHP. The founders Prof. Greg Whyte OBE and Dr. Jack Kreindler, as well as their talented team, including senior physiologist Jim Pate, literally brought Chris back to life and beyond. Their commitment to Health Optimisation/Performance Science and improving the body’s ability to better recover or tolerate illness was invaluable to Chris during this time.

Chris' exercise of choice became cycling in the Suffolk countryside. Then an overwhelming desire to give back to those who are blighted by chronic disease, but who are less privileged and able to cope, Chris and a group of fathers set up "Fathers at Brandeston” charity bike ride. His charity was Bowel and Cancer Research. He especially embraced their mission of investing in the best science research across the UK that has direct patient benefit, as well as their determination to involve the public, supporting/educating people with bowel conditions.

Just 3 weeks before the race - Chris was clocking up 50 miles in a day, in all weather and through the most gruelling rounds of chemotherapy, he continued training with the courage, determination and good humour that is typical of his commitment. But, it is the cruellest irony of the illness that he was in peak physical condition just as the disease began its rapid progression. He received the devastating news that the cancer has spread and treatment options were exhausted. Chris could not make the ride but he was able to stand at the finish line on Sunday 17th June 2012 (Fathers Day) and cheer on the his co-riders after their successful ride and £50,000 contribution. After a tremendous courageous journey, Chris passed away 7 August 2012.

I am honoured to be able to take Chris’ bicycle to make that ride, the ride it was meant to complete, for the charity that meant so much to him.

Doug Tannahill