Le Cure de France is a charity cycle event established in 2014 to raise money for cancer research. So far we have raised over £1.3 million for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and created four Le Cure research fellowships.
In 2018, our fifth year, the ride involved yet more of the iconic Tour de France climbs over four days of riding in the French Alps, including a return to our spiritual home – the infamous 21 hairpins of Alpe d’Huez.
Read our story, help us raise more money, join us on the ride…
In September 2013, Marianne Butler was diagnosed with breast cancer. Marianne, a practising barrister, was otherwise fit and healthy, had no family history of the disease and was about to start a major commercial trial: it’s fair to say it was a shock; a BIG shock. And, unfortunately, a BIG tumour: the offending mutation was nearly 6cm across and had spread to at least two of her lymph nodes. Marianne was referred to the Royal Marsden hospital, under the care of Professor Ian Smith and his team. At least we knew she was in the very best of hands.
As well as 8 sessions of chemotherapy, Marianne was given two very clever drugs called herceptin and pertuzumab. Marianne was the first person at the Marsden to receive the combination of these drugs for treatment of a first occurrence breast cancer, following impressive results in a number of trials in the US.
Those drugs were only available because of the amazing work carried out by Professor Ian Smith and his Research Fund, which forms part of the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Remarkably, 6 months after diagnosis Marianne was given the AMAZING news that she had had what they call a complete pathological response – the drugs had completely wiped out the cancer.
And that’s why we’re doing this: so that other women, and their husbands, children, parents and friends can benefit from the incredible work that is done at the Royal Marsden.
The idea for Le Cure came about, as many great ideas do, with four friends in discussion over rather too much red wine. We knew we needed to do something, and we knew we wanted it to be something that would challenge us like we’d never been challenged before – but we didn’t know what.
As the evening progressed, the talk gradually turned to cycling. We had all met through a shared love of the mountains (to be clear a love of skiing DOWN them), so there was a certain painful logic to putting them at the heart of our endeavours: and with a combined weight of well over 60 stone between the four of us, painful was definitely the operative word.
There were a few obvious problems (our lack of fitness, our lack of cycling experience, hell, our lack of BIKES), but a heady combination of positiveness, stubbornness, and, well, let’s be honest, drunkenness saw us through.
That night, Le Cure De France was born; and by the morning, there was no going back.
After five fantastic years, we will be hitting the mountains again in 2019.
Stay tuned for La Route 2019.