University of Leeds professor and daughter in 274-mile tandem ride for Brain Tumour Research

A  Leeds professor and his daughter are taking on a five-day tandem cycling challenge to raise money to help find a cure for brain tumours.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 11:45 am
Philip and Abby Howard

Professor Philip Howard OBE of Cookridge and his daughter Abby, 28, are taking on the 274-mile challenge, after losing a loved one to the disease.

Philip, a consultant antimicrobial pharmacist, has signed up to take part in Cycle 274 Miles in August to raise money for the charity Brain Tumour Research.

His daughter Abby, a carer for the charity Hft, will be joining him on a Dawes Discovery Twin bike.

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Philip and Abby Howard

Father-of-three Philip, who works at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “Last September we lost my cousin to an aggressive brain tumour.

"Graham Green was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioma in his frontal lobe in September 2019 and was given a prognosis of just six to 12 months.

"He passed just less than a year later, at the age of 67. Graham was the funniest and most generous person you would ever meet.

“So many friends I know have either lost someone to a brain tumour, or know someone fighting the disease.

Abby and Philip Howard

"Unlike other cancers, there is no screening or genetic testing so research is important to improve earlier detection and to improve survival rates.”

"Philip and Abby’s epic tandem cycle is part of Cycle 274 Miles in August – a new virtual challenge which can be completed outdoors, in the gym, or at home on a static bike.

Participants get a free cycling jersey and printed mile tracker when they sign up and set up a Facebook Fundraiser.

The father and daughter duo will set off from Philip’s home in Cookridge on August 16 and aim to arrive at Abby’s home in the Easton area of Bristol on August 20.

They’ll be taking the eastern John O’Groats to Lands End route, which passes Doncaster, Derby, Nottingham, Coventry, Cheltenham and Gloucester

Philip, who is a Professor at the University of Leeds, and Vice President of the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy said his work as a pharmacist has also inspired him to fundraise for research into brain tumours.

He said: “I am very interested in antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which is growing globally and threatens cancer chemotherapy and surgery because infections that patients regularly get as side effects of treatment are becoming resistant to most antibiotics.

"We need effective antibiotics to make brain tumour treatments safer and this will come through greater funding into scientific research.”

Matthew Price, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research said: “We are really grateful to Philip and Abby for taking on this amazing and unique challenge.

"It will no doubt motivate people to consider donating or maybe signing up to take part in the challenge themselves. We wish them all the best for their five-day cycle.

“Cycle 274 in August is a fantastic challenge, as it encourages people to get out, enjoy the fresh air and raise vital funds to help find a cure for this devastating disease. The miles can be clocked up virtually, or in any way that suits you and at your own pace. Join our Facebook group to find out more about how to get involved.”

To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Philip and Abby’s fundraising page, visit: