Denis Wilkins finishes Land's End to John O'Groats cycle 
Denis Wilkins bike ride 

The chair of a medical research charity has successfully cycled the length of the UK – and is hoping to reach £5,000 fundraising in aid of the life-saving study undertaken at the University of Plymouth.

Seventy-six year-old Denis Wilkins, from Menheniot, Cornwall, is chair of the Peninsula Medical Foundation (PMF) and completed his 12-day journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats in ‘hideous driving rain’ at the weekend.

A keen cyclist in his spare time, Denis completed the 954-mile trip in aid of PMF alongside his friend, Nick Miles and has already raised nearly £4,000.

Now he is keen for one last push to break £5,000 – as PMF raises money for research undertaken in the University’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, which includes work on low-grade brain tumours in the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence.

Brain tumours continue to kill more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer and Denis hopes his fundraising efforts will contribute to a PhD studentship.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who has donated to the cause. The Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle has always been on my bucket list but it’s amazing to think I actually completed it, and I’d be hugely grateful to anyone who could spare pennies to help push over the £5,000. What I love about the medical research at the University of Plymouth is that it’s truly translational. It’s not just doing work to find out something interesting, these scientists are doing it to save lives.”

Alongside themes of infection, immunity and inflammation and clinical neuroscience, the research into brain tumours and cancer is conducted as part of the University’s Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine (ITSMed).

Denis continued: 

“Overall, I think that the Devon and Cornwall two days to Collumpton were toughest – maybe on account of not being as fit as by the time we had done a week of-back-to-back cycling. The Northern days were mostly wet but it was great fun and glad I did it – after all, it’s for a great cause.”

Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research

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People walking and talking in a modern setting.