Twickenham to Tokyo – the Man in the Van

Patrick McIntosh and Glenn Fisher

Glenn Fisher’s wife died when their young children were aged only five and seven. Now, he is spending five months accompanying Patrick McIntosh on his cycle to Tokyo, in order to raise money and awareness.

Some people go through their whole lives thinking of others and trying to do good. They give money to charity, or dedicate their lives to a particular cause; something that motivates them and that they feel passionate about. Often, these are the people who face the most challenges in life. Patrick is one of these people. Despite his three cancers, he rejects the label ‘unlucky’ and continues to be a force of nature.

Why did I get involved?

When Patrick told me that he wanted to cycle around the world and raise awareness for cancer, it struck a chord with me. When my children were young – Amanda was five, and Christopher seven – my wife died. It was a complete and utter nightmare; she died within ten days of being diagnosed with leukaemia. Before that time, like most young people, death and illness were not on my radar.

How did Patrick convince me to join him?

Patrick and I both live in the same village; it’s a very caring place full of lovely people. We bumped into each other at a St Catherine’s Hospice function. He explained that for years after his South Pole expedition people kept asking him, “So, what are you going to do next?”. Flippantly he used to respond, “Oh, I don’t know, I’ll cycle around the world.” He told me that he needed somebody to be a support for him. So, I just said, “I’ll do it!”. And that was it. After Christmas I received an email in which he asked me whether, having had time to reflect, I was still serious. Of course, I was.

Glenn Fisher and the support van

Where are we now?

It’s fair to say that our journey so far hasn’t exactly been plain sailing (nor driving nor cycling, for that matter). We’re quite far through our journey now, having crossed Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Now in Russia, the roads are tricky; they drive fast, in any lane, and don’t worry about what is coming in the other direction!

What’s our goal?

To get to Tokyo in time for the Rugby World Cup! No on a serious note if we can save just one person’s life by getting the message out, then it’ll all have been worthwhile. I couldn’t have picked a more inspiring person to do it with than Patrick. It’s an absolute privilege to be involved in something that is so worthy.

How can you follow our journey?

Head over to our Twitter to find out more.