Former England cricketer and newly appointed Sports Director at Warwickshire County Cricket Club, Ashley Giles, is the latest to join QEHB Charity at Velo Birmingham, a 100-mile closed-road bicycle race that is arriving in the second city on Sunday 24 September.
For Ashley, there was no question as to which charity he wanted to raise money for.
In 2006 he rushed back from the Ashes in Australia, where he was part of the England team, to be with his wife Stine, who had just been diagnosed with a brain tumour.
After successful removal of the tumour and further treatment, in 2012 they were both devastated to learn that two more tumours had been discovered, which required immediate attention.
He said: “The treatment Stine received was so new that she was one of the first people to go through it – she was treated on the new TomoTherapy machine bought by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity just weeks before. Without it, there were few options of treatment left. Stine experienced first-hand how important research and new treatments are so promised herself that if everything went well and her prognosis was good, she would endeavour to raise money to support brain tumour research in the future… and so the Giles’ Trust was born”
Thankfully, Stine’s pioneering treatment worked, and, although she continues to have regular checks and scans, she is back enjoying life with her family. Along with Ashley, Stine set up the Giles’ Trust at QEHB Charity which funds research and support to patients with brain tumours. The Giles’ Trust has funded a clinical research nurse who helps Professor Cruickshank to double the number of patients taking part in brain tumour research at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.
Ashley said: “As a cricketer by trade I am excited to try my hand at a new challenge, and cycling 100 miles in 24 hours will be just that – a challenge!
“The work that goes on at QEHB is fantastic, and much of it wouldn’t be possible without QEHB Charity, which raises money for extra research, facilities and equipment over and above what the NHS can provide.
“I hope people dig deep and feel inspired to sponsor my challenge, and more importantly, to help make a difference for future patients like my wife who may, one day, need the fantastic support of QEHB.”