Glasgow friends cycle 500km across Europe for Beatson Cancer Charity

Two friends from Glasgow have raised £2427 for Beatson Cancer Charity, after cycling from Amsterdam to Hamburg.

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78-year-old Erl Wilkie and his friend Donald Christie had been planning the 576km trip for a few years, but it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However last November, Erl was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, leading to their trip being further delayed.

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The friends then decided to go ahead with the trip in May this year and asked for donations to Beatson Cancer Charity for their efforts.

Donald and Erl have been running and cycling together for almost forty years. Since retiring they have taken on several major cycling trips such as Glasgow to San Ginesio in Italy and Berlin to Warsaw. They’ve also ran through a variety of European countries such as France, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia.

Erl Wilkie and Donald Christie.

The trip from Amsterdam to Hamburg was the only part of Europe they hadn’t yet travelled – by doing it they’ve now linked from Glasgow all the way to Warsaw and Gdańsk in Poland.

They left Glasgow on 2nd May and travelled by train from Glasgow to Newcastle, and got a ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam.

They then started the cycle from Ijmuiden, Amsterdam and stopped at several places along the way: Sneek, Netherlands; Groningen, Netherlands; Leer, Germany; Oldenburg, Germany; Bremen, Germany; Hamburg, Germany. The trip took six days in total.

Erl says they supported Beatson Cancer Charity following the support which he has continued to receive after his diagnosis.

Erl said: “I did it because of the care which I got and am still getting because I’m incurable. I still get this 3-weekly drug called Herceptin.

“The care I had in the Beatson was second to none. It was wonderful. And of course the fantastic research which they are doing too.

“I felt very strongly that I had to pay something back for the wonderful treatment that I’ve been given. So that’s why we decided to do it for the Beatson.

“One gets a huge buzz out of being able to do these things for charity – there is no better charity than the Beatson for myself. It does do your own heart good to do some good.”

Calum McNair, challenges and community engagement fundraiser at Beatson Cancer Charity, said: “We are so grateful to Erl and Donald for completing this incredible challenge in aid of our charity.

“It’s always inspiring to see former and existing patients fundraise following the care and treatment they received at the Beatson – and this challenge is no different.

“Cycling over 500km across Europe at the age of 78 following a cancer diagnosis is quite remarkable – and we cannot thank them both enough for their support.”

You can still donate to Erl and Donald’s Just Giving page HERE.