Patient completes UK motorbike ride

6 October 2015

A Royal Free Hospital patient has completed a mammoth journey around the UK on his motorbike to raise money for kidney cancer research.

Jon Birchall, 55, from Hereford, spent an incredible 57 days on the road riding 7,500 miles around the British coast for his charitable appeal, Facing Up 2 Kidney Cancer. He has so far raised more than £25,000 for the research team at the Royal Free Hospital.

He started his trip in Blackpool in June, taking in Wales, Scotland and England finishing at the Royal Free Hospital on 30 September where he was welcomed by a crowd of well-wishers including senior medical staff.

Jon, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2013, said: “It’s been an incredible four months. It’s been extremely hard work but I have had a wonderful time as well. I have also gone for five months without any tumour growth and if that’s the effect of riding a motorbike I’d better go round again.Thanks to all my supporters and thanks to my wife Sarah, who has been working seven days a week on this.  I couldn’t have done this without her.”

Michael Aitchison, the lead for kidney cancer at the Royal Free London, said: “This is an absolutely amazing achievement, so congratulations to Jon and to his wife Sarah. We want to create a world class centre for kidney cancer and we are very grateful to Jon and Sarah for all their efforts to raise money that will contribute to that.”

David Sloman, the chief executive of the Royal Free London, added: “This is a thoroughly remarkable achievement. On behalf of the Royal Free I want to say thank you for everything that you have done.”

Jon wanted to raise awareness of kidney cancer in both the public and among the medical profession, working with the James Whale Fund For Kidney Cancer.

If you would like to donate to Jon’s research fund please go to  or text JBKC55 £3, £5 or £10 to 70070.

Image: Jon and Sarah Birchall are welcomed to the Royal Free Hospital by their supporters


Notes to editors

Media contacts: or call 020 7472 6665

About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free began as a pioneering organisation and continues to play a leading role in the care of patients. Our mission is to provide world class expertise and local care. In the 21st century, the Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare.

The Royal Free London attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, haemophilia, renal, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.

In July 2014 Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital became part of the Royal Free London. Read 'A bigger trust, a better future'.