INSTEAD of giving in to cancer, 59-year-old Hugh Forgie decided to literally get on his bike to do something to help others facing the dreaded disease.
In fact Hugh, originally from Carluke, has just completed his second international sponsored bike ride to raise cash for the treatment of fellow leukaemia sufferers at Glasgow’s Beatson Hospital, his original trip ten years ago making a magnificent £19,000 and the latest, just completed, adding an incredible £26,000-plus to that total.
That first marathon ride between Glasgow and the Spanish resort of Malaga was a solo effort but this time, with this disease advanced a decade, he took his wife Margaret to share the cycling duties, riding alternate stages.
A Beatson nurse, Donna Kelly, gave up her holidays to act as the ‘back-up’ driver for the duo, earning the couple’s deep gratitude.
Detailing the latest expedition, Hugh said: “We started at the Beatson Hospital in Glasgow on July 3 and completed the 1,860 miles in eleven and a half days, cycling in up to 43 degrees of heat in the last four days in Spain.
“We had to go over the Pyrenees Mountains to get from France to Spain and even professional riders find that a challenge.
“We certaining found that the toughest stretch - especially in that heat - but it was all worth it.”
“From this trip we raised around over £256,000 so far and our Just Giving page will be open for a few weeks yet as we still have one fundraising weekend to do in mid-September.
“The link, if anyone still wishes to donate, is https://www.justgiving.com/Margaret-Forgie3/.
“We’d like to say thank you to everyone who has donated so far and say a special thanks to Donna Kelly, the nurse who gave up two weeks holiday to be our support driver.
“We couldn’t have been looked after better by anyone. We also say a big thanks to Mike and Lorna Fusco of Border Cars who supplied us with a Kia Sorrento for the trip and to all at Cloburn Quarry for their support.”
Such a trip would have been beyond the capabilities of most of the fittest amongst us; the fact that Hugh did it while battling a rare variety of leukaemia makes his achievement all the more admirable.
The treatments tried over the years he has been suffering from the condition have not been effective. He is now undertaking what is still very much an experimental form of treatment and is prepared to take the risks that this involves.
Whatever, Hugh has proved that he is prepared to face whatever challenges life throws at him - and devotes time and effort to helping others suffering from cancer rather than just giving in and feeling sorry for himself.