Ultimately, it’s about curing cancer and if that doesn’t grab your attention then nothing will.

Last night was the launch of the biggest fundraiser in the history of Cure Leukaemia, the Birmingham based charity founded by Professor Charlie Craddock and Graham Hampson Silk.

Deloitte in Brindley Place hosted the event where former England footballer Geoff Thomas told the audience he will hold two major cycling events in 2015 to support the work of Cure Leukaemia and Professor Charlie Craddock in Birmingham. This comes ten years after going into remission from leukaemia himself.

In 2003 Geoff was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and was given less than three months to live. Following treatment from Cure Leukaemia co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock, including a bone marrow transplant from his sister, Geoff has been in remission since January 2005. Geoff now aims to raise £2million in two years by holding two unique cycling events for an exlsuive number of participants.

Firstly, in June 2015 Geoff will lead a closed group of 300 cyclists on a four-day, 500 kilometre cycling challenge: ‘London 2 Paris: Inspiring the Revolution’. The event is built for both keen cyclists and beginners looking for a new challenge – every aspect of the ride is planned with precision and will be a professional event for amateur riders. It might sound like an event only fit for cycling’s elite, but with four different speed groups, this is something anyone can achieve. It also boasts itself as one of the ONLY events that offers rolling road closures throughout France.

Six months after Geoff’s treatment finished in 2005 and inspired by cancer survivor and pro-cyclist Lance Armstrong, Geoff set himself the challenge of cycling the Tour de France 2005 route two days ahead of the race. Geoff succeeded in his 2005 challenge and his second major cycling event will revisit the challenge of cycling all twenty-one stages of the Tour de France; this time, just one day ahead of Le Tour 2015. Along with a closed group of only twenty participants, this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to join Geoff in completing one of the toughest physical challenges around.

The event was a huge success with many signing up on the evening, Geoff was more energised than I’ve seen him for a long time and Charlie, with ususal humility, had a steely resolve that suggested these extra funds for the charity could be a real game-changer. We’ve already seen the Centre for Clinical Haematology at the QE Hospital in Birmingham become one of the leading centre in the world for the development of new drug and transplant treatments for patients with blood cancers. These new approaches to clinical care are providing a new economic force for the city – in life sciences. The focus on ‘cure’ from everyone at the charity is to be commended and the leadership from CEO, James McLaughlin has been outstanding.

Please visit the links and consider signing up and supporting these events.