Paralympian To HandCycle 500km in Four Days for a Good Cause

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Dr William Tan will be handcycling 500km from London to Paris in the next four days

56-year-old wheelchair-bound polio and leukaemia survivor Dr William Tan is well known in Singapore for his daring endurance feats.

Some of these include finishing the North Pole marathon and becoming the fastest man in a wheelchair to complete seven marathons in seven continents in 2007. He successfully achieved this in 26 days, 17 hours, 43 minutes and 52 seconds.

And now, in his latest endurance challenge, Dr Tan will tackle a 500km cycling journey in a mere four days, on his hand-bike. He will handcycle from London to Paris from today to 23 June.

The medical doctor is doing this for a good cause: To raise funds for cancer patients and lymphoma research in the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Singapore.

No mean feat for him

This is no mean feat for Dr Tan, considering that he has overcome two crippling ailments. At the tender age of two, he had been diagnosed with polio, which left him paralysed from the waist down.

Then if that wasn’t harsh enough, in April 2009, he was found to have Stage Four leukaemia and had been given nine to 12 months to live. But Dr Tan is a fighter and this is his fifth year as a leukaemia survivor.

Now, with his second chance in life, Dr Tan is more determined than ever, to do something to help the community. He said, “I owe my life to doctors and nurses and in return, I want to help needy cancer patients. I hope to see a cure for cancer.”

So that explains his strong support and fund-raising attempts for the National Cancer Centre Singapore’s Lymphoma Research.


Dr Tan will be raising finds for cancer patients and lymphoma research – during his handcycling feat (Photo: National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine)

Toughest journey he has tackled

Organised by Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research in the United Kingdom, this 500km ride will be the medical doctor’s toughest and most daring feat – since his diagnosis with leukaemia and subsequent bone marrow transplant.

Together with able-bodied cyclists and motorcycle outriders to keep traffic away from the course, Dr Tan will begin his ride today – at the Greenwich Park in London.

Key landmarks along his challenging journey will include the Pas des Calais, the Somme and the rolling hills in Northern France. After four tough days of cycling, the trip will end at the Arc de Triomphe and finally, the Eiffel Tower.

Support Dr Tan

If you wish to support Dr Tan and help the leukaemia patients, please donate online through his website at

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