I’m always one to give a good charitable cause a bit of a push on DGB once in a while, and Peter Ferguson’s from Avocet I believe is a good one – with a very personal touch.

Rather than explain it in my words, I’ll let Peter explain the event, the charity and his reason for supporting it:

I am competing in the Bedgebury Insomnia race to raise funds for the Barrett’s Oesophagus Campaign. Insomnia is a 12 hour mountain bike race that takes place at the stunning Bedgebury Forest in Kent on a mix of flowing singletrack and flat out fire roads starting at 8pm and finishing at 8am and like last year I have entered as a solo rider (who says that you get wiser with age). http://www.bedgeburyinsomnia.co.uk/

So why have I chosen the Barrett’s Oesophagus Campaign, quiet simply because I have it.

Too few people, even in the medical profession, are aware of Barrett’s Oesophagus and its potential to lead to cancer of the gullet. Barrett’s Oesophagus Campaign is constantly striving to increase knowledge among healthcare professionals and among the public. The more people who know about the condition the more lives can be saved.

Barrett’s Oesophagus is a major health issue yet its profile is very low.

There is a dramatic increase in oesophageal cancer in the developed world.

It is now responsible for around five per cent of all cancer deaths, making it the fifth most common cause of cancer death.

Around 7,600 cases are diagnosed in the UK each year.

In 2005, 7,419 people died from the disease and the survival rate is one of the lowest of all cancers at around 8%.

When Barrett’s is diagnosed early the symptoms can be treated and regular monitoring can help to prevent the condition developing into cancer.

I was diagnosed with Barrett’s four years ago …………. So what is Barrett’s Oesophagus?

The acid and bile from the stomach can cause inflammation to the cells lining the oesophagus. If this happens over many years, these cells may start to change, becoming more like the cells that line the intestine. This is then called Barrett’s Oesophagus.

Acid and bile coming from the stomach into the oesophagus may cause heartburn.

The normal oesophagus (gullet or food pipe) is lined with a pinkish-white tissue called squamous epithelium. Barrett’s Oesophagus is a clear precursor of oesophageal adenocarcinoma (AC) but because it is so under-diagnosed, patients with AC have not been aware of it. Barrett’s oesophagus is a condition in which the normal squamous epithelium of the oesophagus has been replaced by an abnormal red columnar epithelium.

In the US it is referred to as esophageal cancer / cancer of the esophagus.

For further information please visit  the Barrett’s Oesophagus Campaign website; www.barrettscampaign.org.uk

Please help, donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

You can also donate via text message by texting 70070 with the code GWJM79 and the amount, for example GWJM79 £10

Whilst the recognised “major” cancers are quite rightly well funded, it is important to remember that there are other conditions that exist I this world that need as much attention and research as any other. Please lets get behind Peter and his ride in July. It’s a tough ask 12 hours without any other team mates to share the load!

You can go to his Just Giving page here: http://www.justgiving.com/Peter-Ferguson5