Following my lung cancer surgery aged 69 in 2014 and heart treatment from the excellent care at Harefield Hospital, I wanted to give something back by fundraising. I’ve always been a bit of a traveller with an adventurous spirit so challenged myself to cycle solo from Perth to Adelaide across the Nullabor in 2018 without support camping along the Outback to keep costs down, so all funds raised went direct to Royal Brompton/Harefield Hospitals. The Australian Cycle challenge was up there with some of my biggest challenges as I’d also hitch-hiked around the world encountering, amongst other things, Grizzly bears in Alaska and the Khmer Rouge in Laos where I sustained injury, almost losing my life on a number of occasions and putting it down to luck of the Irish and believing someone’s watching over me!

Why The Thames?

The Thames is one of the world’s best known, historic and loved waterways and having joined a Kayaking/Canoeing club this year my son and I thought it would be easy, we were wrong. It’s another challenge and its challenges, however big or small, that keep you going. We are planning in 2023 to canoe along the Thames beginning at its source at Lechlade, stopping along the way to give talks a little like the Canterbury Tales, about my encounters around the world and raising awareness and funds for the life-saving work at Harefield Hospital. Sean Duffy