I have been in to cycling for 30 years, mainly mountain biking, and my claim to fame was co-designing and building the London 2012 Olympic bike course. Whilst there, I fell in love, and the same week we handed over the completed venue to the worlds press & Lord Coe - amazing!!

Sadly, 10 days later my fiancée was diagnosed with a GMB4 (Glioblastoma Multiforme 4), a high-grade brain tumour, and just given months. I motivated and constructed an alkaline based diet for increasing PH levels. Jo had two and a half wonderful years, and despite being wheelchair bound for many months. I encouraged her to cycle a trike around Germany.

Whilst I was caring for Jo, and as I was passionate about the event and local course, I volunteered my spare time for London 2012 legacy and created a mountain bike club based on the venue ‘Hadleigh MTB Club’, gained sponsors and trained coaches for teaching youngsters skills and generally motivating all the local area.

When Jo passed away, I retired as chairman and now the club is one of the largest most successful clubs in the UK. 

Due to finding it difficult living in Essex with too many memories, my brother invited me to live in south Devon in early 2014, which I absolutely embraced.  All was good, and I continued cycling intermittently, then in 2017, for motivation, I entered La Marmotte, and raised £2k for Children’s Hospice South West.

I then suffered with a ruptured knee cartilage in 2018, therefore cycling was too painful, and I gained weight through comfort eating and drinking. A specialist suggested changing my femur angle by cutting a wedge out and plating to alter my posture, which would take 9-12 months recovery. I refused surgery and thought I’d grin & bear it by trying to lose the weight I’d gained (at the time I was 49 and weighed 125kg).  

I went on a road trip around Germany at Christmas 2019, and all the walking eased my knee pain, ‘Great,’ I thought, ‘back cycling, getting fit and losing weight!’. However, whilst swimming in a thermal pool in the Black Forest on Christmas Day, I got water in my ear and subsequently had an infection, various antibiotics didn’t touch it or my constant earache.  To ease the pain I took two aspirin (which I’ve never had previously) the next day I was rushed into A&E with Hemoptysis (coughing of blood). 

At the time the doctors suspected ulcers and after many investigations and scans I was diagnosed with stage T2N1M0 oesophagus/stomach junction cancer. The bleeding I had was totally unconnected to the tumour but was due to the aspirin breaking down the lining of my stomach.

Upon reflection, I’d had short bouts of acid reflux, but though I’d kept it under control and with no symptoms. Fortunately, the tumour was found at an earlier stage, measuring 2mm, so I feel very lucky.

From leaving hospital, I had a strict alkaline diet with veg juicing etc, and went on the road bike 75-100 miles a week. Due to the covid-19 and being vulnerable, my surgeon suggested to go straight to an oesophagectomy and postponed my pre-op FLOT chemo.  I agreed as I would have better preparation for the operation.  So, my surgery was booked for Friday 15th May 2020, 8 weeks after diagnosis. After my video chat with my surgeon, he was extremely happy with how I had conducted myself and still had no symptoms of this terrible disease. I walked into surgery day confident in the team and actually excited that the unwanted was being taken away.

After the 11 hours surgery, I fully committed to recovery and was ready to leave hospital 5 days later.  I could barely walk 50 yards, but each day I increased the distance.  I then started walking on Dartmoor and after 3 weeks I was back cycling and driving again and continued cycling over 100 miles a week - my team are astonished with my recovery!

Following the surgery, I  had 6 rounds of FLOT chemo, which hit me hard, and was stopped after 5 rounds, due to the impact it was causing to my health. In the following months I battled neuropathy (nerve pain) with winter cycling and walking, continued keeping fit and healthy.

Glenn pictured on the left the week he received his diagnosis and right in October 2020.

In February 2022 I went to Arizona solo bike packing for a month which was an amazing experience. Cycling is still a huge part of my life. It’s been a very tough journey to this day, but I am thankful the cancer was caught early.  I now enjoy life to the full, keep fit and live a healthy lifestyle at a maintained weight of 80kg.

I have two teenage boys who are heavily into sports and my sons play a big part in my motivation. I enjoy a good work/life balance too and I have completely changed the environment which caused the unwanted. Since returning from Arizona I have a new love in my life, Michelle, her support and our continuous  adventures together are amazing.

Glenn and his lads in August 2022 and with Michelle and Marmite and Weebles

Association with HCUK:

Glenn got in touch with Heartburn Cancer UK via our Instagram page.  As an OC survivor, Glenn was keen to share his positive story to inspire our readers and show that you can embrace life following a cancer diagnosis.