Retired paramedic takes up Nightrider challenge

A RETIRED paramedic who is undertaking the Nightrider cycle challenge in Liverpool in memory of his father, who lost his battle with cancer, has since set himself a new challenge following his own cancer diagnosis. Steve Evans, 62, from Runcorn, aims to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support but now also wants to highlight the importance of early diagnosis after he was forced to change his course from the 100km to the 50km route when a non-healing tongue ulcer turned out to be mouth cancer. The keen cyclist wasted no time and got the ulcer checked by his dentist while on a routine trip, which meant that within three weeks of it appearing, he had a diagnosis. He believes that 44 years as a paramedic, as well as his own personal experience of his father’s battle with cancer, is what helped him to catch his cancer as early as he did. He said: “I signed up to do the Nightrider challenge to raise funds for Macmillan as I lost my father to cancer 25 years ago and I believe that they really make a difference to the lives of those living with cancer. Since signing up, I ironically received my own diagnosis. My Dad didn’t really get a chance to fight his diagnosis as he didn’t spot the warning signs and by the time he got his diagnosis, it was too late and he died aged just 62. “However, this experience teamed with my 44 years work as a paramedic is what led me to get my ulcer checked out so soon and I’d urge anyone with any worrying symptoms, whatever they may be to do the same. I really believe that you need to take charge of your own health and if you suspect something isn’t right, don’t leave it to chance, take action.” Steve was made an MBE in 2015 in recognition of his Don’t Walk Away campaign, which was inspired by his own experience after he was called to treat a boy of about 12 years old in Widnes who had been left sprawled on his back by his friends after too much to drink. The campaign which launched in 2001 is now being run around the world and offers advice on what to do in the case of emergency, the dangers of under-age drinking and choking and hypothermia, and how the bodies of those under-age ‘are not ready’ for alcohol. Nicole McIlveen, Fundraising Manager for Macmillan in Liverpool, Wirral and the Isle of Man, said: “It is wonderful that Steve, with his many years of experience in medicine and in campaigning, has chosen to fundraise for us. As well as raising vital funds for us, it’s amazing that he wants to highlight the importance of early diagnosis as well. His story is an inspiring one and we wish him the best of luck in the Nightrider.” The Nightrider event takes place on Saturday, 15th July, and gives participants an exciting opportunity to ride through the moonlit streets of Liverpool. To sponsor Steve and support the work that Macmillan do please text MBES60£5 to 70070 or visit justiving.com/steve-evans-mbe. If you have any fundraising queries, or would like to hold our own event, call Nicole McIlveen on 07703 671325.