A LAWYER dying from terminal cancer has turned his back on further medical treatment to complete a “monster” 185-mile cycle trip for charity.
Nick Stormonth was told at the end of last year that his cancer was inoperable.
But despite being in constant, agonising pain, the 36-year-old has rejected further chemotherapy so he can complete Sunday’s gruelling cycle ride in Italy.
Nick Stormouth (right) is doing the 185 mile bike ride for charity
The cash raised by Nick, from Longniddry, East Lothian, will go to help other cancer sufferers.
The former pupil of Stewart’s Melville College, Edinburgh, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in May last year and told in November he had another form of the disease which could not be treated.
He has already undergone 18 weeks of chemotherapy, managing throughout to cycle the 34-mile round trip from home to his work in the licensing department at Edinburgh Council.
He said: “I should be having more chemotherapy treatment just now but I decided not to.
“I know this will be my last opportunity to do the cycle. It’s simply a question of keeping going and trying to do all that I can.”
He added: “When I was initially diagnosed my first goal was to get back to cycling. It’s my passion and I know it’s what keeps me going and drives me.
“I want to help as many people as I can and set an example to anyone who is in a similar situation.”
Although he admits he is in “quite a lot of pain” the brave fundraiser is taking medication to help him on his way through a route that is described as “a monster” by Sports Routes International and is “the ultimate challenge for amateurs”.
The route is done in one day and can take anywhere between 8 and 12 hours. Nick has already raised £5,000 for his charity, Nico35, and wants to make “as much as possible”.
He said: “I’m quite apprehensive because it is a long route and it’s the longest single-day event on the cycling calendar.
“I see what has happened to me as an opportunity to raise awareness of these illnesses and help others like me and to say thank you to the amazing people who have supported me over the years.”
Nick has been striving to keep his supporters updated with his progress while training in Italy for the epic challenge.
The nico35 website blog makes clear the strain even training for the race has had on Nick.
He wrote: “My heart rate told me I should probably have been in the ambulance which passed me when I decided to walk twice but thanks to Dave we made it to food stop at Teglio and continued on.
“It was painful and we are not talking just about pains in the legs.
“We rode the whole way together and up to the top the Stelvio – together – a very special moment considering the amount of pain I have been in today – real suffering.”
Jack and Kathleen Stormonth, Nick’s parents, are also travelling to Italy to support their son on his inspirational quest.
They will be there to offer help incase he encounters any difficulties while taking part in the event that attracts up to 1,000 participants.
Cycling alongside will be close friend David Bayley who is moved by what Nick is aiming to accomplish.
He said: “I was full of admiration when Nick told me what he was planning to do. Having seen the strength of his character on big cycles in the past, it came as no surprise that he wanted to do something like this and I jumped at the chance to be involved.
David, a 35-year-old archaeologist from Belmullet in County Mayo, first met Nick in Riccione six years ago when they both took part in the Grand Fondo Nove Colli.
He said: “There’s a great cycling culture in Italy, the roads are great and the people are so friendly.
“We’re both big fans of the Italian culture and because it’s where we first met it was a nice opportunity to do this together.”
The Milan-Sanremo event is the not the only planned fundraiser for nico35.
When Nick returns from Italy he will have no time for rest as he continues his training for a 96-mile cycle in County Durham in October.
Anne Forsyth, the trustee of nico35, said: “Nick is a courageous friend and colleague. It is typical of him to think of others before himself by endeavouring to raise as much sponsorship as possible while he is still physically able to do so.
“I wish him all the best of luck.”
For details of how to support Nick and his charity nico35 visit www.nico35.co.uk