Mark D.

United Kingdom

Mark's Story

I am writing to you from hospital. Two weeks ago, I had a stem cell transplant, a major procedure as part of my treatment for a rare blood cancer called myeloma. I am 54, and until I started treatment for this incurable disease, I was a keen cyclist. The transplant involves a high dose of a chemotherapy drug and then the reinsertion of my stem cells, which had previously been extracted. It has been successful but the process has killed off my immune system. I am like a newborn baby, highly vulnerable to infections and will have to have all my childhood vaccines again. The next three months at least will be spent in isolation at home. My fitness has obviously been reduced to zero. I am very weak and cannot walk more than 20 metres. I had a shower this morning and felt as though I had run a mile at top pace. I now plan to rebuild my fitness, day by day. I am allowed to leave the house to walk but not cycle due to the risk of injury if I fall off. Next year I will cycle to Paris, or at least embark on a long multi-day ride in the UK, to raise money for Myeloma UK, the charity which supports me and others in this position. I would be very grateful if Peloton were to support this effort. It would give me a chance to get a good start in rebuilding my fitness while recovering and in isolation. This has been a deeply traumatic and scary period in my life. I have been having chemotherapy for nine months, while the transplant had a range of highly unpleasant side-effects. My mental health has been sorely tested (I suffer from depression and anxiety). I am determined to rebuild my life so that I return to full physical and mental health. Your support would be a massive boost.


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