Brothers on Course for TCC Homecoming
A big welcome awaits Jon and Dom Wright, who are due back in the UK next week after an arduous 11,000 mile cycle of the Tropic of Cancer in aid of cancer awareness.
Jon and Dom cycling across the Tropic of Cancer
Jon was diagnosed with testicular cancer in June 2007. He was fortunate enough to catch the cancer while it was still localised and still in stage 1 but unfortunately had a second case develop in June 2008. Following a failed operation, surgery and a course of radiotherapy the signs were that he could get his life back on track and put his experience of cancer behind him.
But his life had changed and he believed for the better as it gave him the opportunity to make a difference by raising awareness regarding the importance of early detection and reach out to those people who fear something is wrong but who chose to bury their head in the ground. That is when the idea of cycling the Tropic of Cancer (TCC Challenge) came about. Jon wanted to prove that post cancer you can be stronger and achieve more that you ever thought was possible.
Brother Dom came on board and since starting their journey at the bank of England in October 2009, Jon and Dom have recorded the stages of their physically demanding trek by writing a series of checkpoint updates. Their memoirs have illustrated exactly how gruelling their mission has been, describing their battles with exhaustion, extreme weather conditions and language barriers.
Travelling down through Europe into France, they were greeted by torrential rain and 50mph winds, then on to Italy, where their bikes struggled to combat the pothole-ridden Roman roads. By November they had reached Africa, with Tunisia and Libya offering an array of budget hotels with unsatisfactory bathrooms. Egypt was next, where they were chased by a pack of wild dogs before spending Christmas day at the Pyramids.
Their January trip to India was a fruitful cultural experience, where they weaved through the bustling streets and witnessed wildlife only available to most people via the Discovery Channel.
'In the trees a female tiger gracefully made her way into the forest and we had prime view. This made it for me – a wild tiger in its natural habitat – it really doesn’t get much better. We saw deer, monkeys, tracker elephants, tortoises, kingfishers and even a racy mongoose.'
In their penultimate month before they arrive back home, the brothers travelled from Hong Kong to Mexico via Los Angeles, where they enjoyed a quick visit to Sunset Boulevard accompanied by an American hamburger and chocolate milkshake. When they arrived in Mexico, they pushed their peddles through a sweltering 36 degree heat, resulting in them drinking 7 litres of water each. As the sun scorched their backs along Highway 15 libre, they came across a series of exotic animals, such as 5ft snakes, iguanas, and birds which Jon describes as 'the size of small dinosaurs.'
At times they have experienced seeing some of the world’s most stunning examples of natural beauty:
'We turned the corner and the best view in the world greeted us. We were literally up in the clouds and could see for miles across Mexico. Awesome! The view I can only describe as looking out of a plane window with your feet on the ground.'
The brothers were set to finish their remarkable journey in Havana, Cuba, in the summer solstice 2010 - the longest day which Jon wants to symbolize the long life that can be lived after cancer. Due to their amazing endurance, they are ahead of schedule and returning to London next week (Monday 12 April) where there will be an unveiling of a poster of the boys at bank Tube Station at 10am.
Find out more about the TCC Challenge and follow Jon and Dom's progress:
The TCC Challenge has been raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, The Willow Foundation and the Starlight Foundation and they are hoping to have raised enough money to fund a Macmillan nurse for a whole year.
Visit: www.tccchallenge.co.uk for more information