Sam cycles Olympic Velodrome with us

Few memories of my illness

I don’t remember much from when I was in hospital with this awful cancer but I do have a few memories. My first memory was being pinned down by my parents for injections. I hated them. I would fight against having them every day, but they were vital for my survival and keeping on top of this horrible disease. I also have some good memories, running up and down the hallway with the other children on the ward. I didn’t let anything stop me being a little monkey. I am glad I don’t remember much because from what I have heard there weren’t many good moments – just constant worry. Anyway, I am now a healthy 16-year-old lad working hard at my A levels. I love playing football and am very sporty.

My amazing Olympic Velodrome experience

I am a proud supporter of Children with Cancer UK and love raising money for the charity. It’s a great charity and I think what they do is amazing. They also give me great opportunities to do some unbelievable things that you wouldn’t have thought were possible. On Thursday 11 September I was given the opportunity to go to the Olympic Velodrome and cycle around the track. Not only that, but I was then able to talk to Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Romero.
Cyclists going round a velodrome

I was very nervous

At the start of the day, well, I was really scared and not quite sure what to expect. I was nervous as well as buzzing. As we got closer and closer to the Olympic Park, that’s when I really became excited about my day even though I was still nervous about cycling round the track. When I saw the track I got even more nervous because of how high the track actually went. I didn’t expect such a gradient and couldn’t work out how cyclists didn’t fall off. I got changed into my cycling gear, health and safety was explained and finally I was sitting on my bike with my feet locked in knowing I couldn’t go back now. The trainer explained about how different the bike is to a normal road bike which worried me even more because I knew I needed to get used to this new bike and the new riding technique it required. Boom, we were off. My nerves vanished as I pushed onto the pedals. I got control of my bike and there was no stopping me. I started gingerly, which you would expect, but after a few laps I was flying. We were moving higher and higher up the track until I was virtually going round the most outer part of the track. At this point I was determined to do my very best. It felt like I had only been going for five minutes when the trainer told us to stop. I felt disappointed but also happy in a way – because I couldn’t feel my legs after all that pedalling!
Two people at a velodrome with a medal

Meeting Rebecca Romero – an inspiration

I then got my opportunity, along with the other cyclists, to ask Rebecca Romero questions. She explained how she became both a silver medallist rower and a gold medallist cyclist. It was really interesting because what Rebecca achieved is very rare. You don’t hear of people getting medals in two different events. I was also struck that she only started rowing when she was 17. I would have thought that you would have to start much younger. But no, she got her opportunity later. I now believe that anything is possible in life and I really do think you should live for your dreams. Even with all the knock-backs and negative feedback, which Rebecca had a lot of, don’t give up on what you want to achieve in life. Rebecca was totally inspiring and it was a pleasure meeting her. I would like to say a massive thank you to Children with Cancer UK charity for giving me this wonderful opportunity. Read Sam’s Story
Newsletter icon
Newsletter icon

Sign up to our e-newsletter today

Sign up to our e-newsletter and receive exclusive stories straight to your inbox. You will also find out about our latest childhood cancer research news along with updates on our fundraising events, charity news and opportunities to support us. Don’t miss out!

By signing up to this newsletter I agree to receive general and financial appeal emails from Children with Cancer UK