200 kilometre ride raises thousands for people with breast cancer

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Four men in blue cycling jersey's ride bikes along a road.

Toby Lock and friends during the "Tour De Luce"

After his partner received a devastating cancer diagnosis, a south Londoner has raised more than £8,000 to support people with breast cancer.

Toby Lock, 28, from Herne Hill, recently cycled more than 200km in one day in a fundraising ride in honour of girlfriend Lucie Simpson and to raise funds for Guy’s Cancer Charity.

In February this year, Lucie received the heart wrenching news that she had breast cancer at 27 years old. She was referred to a team at the Guy’s Cancer, part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, and quickly began treatment.

Lucie has had five months of chemotherapy before a double mastectomy and is currently undergoing radiotherapy at the Cancer Centre at Guy’s. Following her surgery, treatments and medications, Lucie’s care team are positive about her future and she’s recently been able to socialise with friends and begin getting on with her life again.

For Toby, he wanted to fundraise for Guy’s Cancer Charity to show his appreciation for the care Lucie has received, but also to ensure that the team can continue to help as many people as possible in similar situations. He said: “Despite it being such a devastating time, the care Lucie has received has been amazing and the team at Guy’s Cancer have made the journey so much easier.

We just wanted to give back for all of the care that Lucie has had. If fundraising in some way helps someone else to get the cancer treatment that they need, that’s the end goal.

As a keen cyclist, Toby wanted to do something that would be challenging for him and his friends who also took part. He came up with the idea of cycling from their home in Herne Hill to St Albans in Hertfordshire, where Lucie is from, to Devizes in Wiltshire where he is from and nicknamed the ride “Tour De Luce”.

Toby said: “I’ve been cycling for a few years now but nothing like this before. I did a lot of training before the day so it was doable, but it was still really difficult.

“We had friends and family waiting for us at the finish line which was amazing. We were so full of adrenaline after we finished, then about an hour later we all completely crashed!”

Joined by friends George, Jason, Jordan and Sam, the ride took around 14 hours to complete, with a few stops along the way. Their current fundraising total stands at more than £9,000.

Toby said: “I really didn’t think we would raise this much money. We wanted to raise £4,000 but we raised almost that in a week. Knowing there was so much support out there really helped to get us through the cycle.”

Toby is already looking at turning Tour De Luce into an annual fundraising event to benefit those affected by breast cancer. He said: “As the partner of someone going through something so awful, at first I felt a bit powerless to do anything. In doing the ride, it’s helped to not just raise money, but to start some conversations about breast cancer and hopefully by sharing our experience, we can help others in the future.”

Lucie said:

Though being diagnosed with cancer was such a devastating time, the care I received really was above and beyond anything I was expecting. I’ve never felt more cared for.

“I really want to say a huge thank you to the nurses. Everyone involved in my care was fantastic but the nurses were phenomenal. I actually miss going in for my chemo!

“Toby has been so supportive. All the care he’s given me has been amazing but the fact he wanted to do more to raise money is incredible. I’m blown away by how much money has been raised.”

Clinical nurse specialist Grainne Finnerty, who worked in the breast cancer team while Lucie was undergoing treatment and now works in palliative care, said: “Thank you to Toby and his friends for raising so much money to support Guy’s Cancer. It really does mean so much to the whole team that cared for Lucie.

“To know that Lucie is continuing to do so well following the treatment is so heartening and to hear she was so happy with her care really does make everything we do so worth it. We wish her and Toby all the very best for the future.”

To donate to Toby’s fundraising, visit his JustGiving page.

Guy’s Cancer Charity supports Guy’s Cancer by funding projects and innovations to benefit patients and safe. For more information, visit the Guy's Cancer Charity website.

Last updated: October 2022

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