European marketing director for STYROFOAM™ manufacturer Dow Building Solutions, Marco ten Bruggencate, will be hoping for better weather this September as he attempts to windsurf across the English Channel.
Marco plans to set off from Folkestone on the weekend of September 15/16th as soon as winds allow, and is aiming to land near Wimereux in France around four hours later.
The ambitious journey has its roots in Marco’s own battle against testicular cancer and is in aid of a charity called KiKa, which funds research into children’s cancer. Marco was initially diagnosed with the disease back in 2000.
“It feels like the right time to give something back,” he said. “No one, and especially not a child, should have to die from cancer and I know from my own experience the impact the disease has not just on the individual concerned but family and friends.”
Marco’s original diagnosis meant he had to have an urgent operation at Kent’s Medway hospital to have the tumour surgically removed. The cancer unfortunately returned, leading to a course of chemotherapy and two follow up operations. His last check-up in August 2011 finally showed him to be cancer-free.
“It’s been a tough, long battle and I’ve been lucky to win against cancer – but the sad fact is that although treatments have improved since the 1960s when the cure rate was around 30%, one in four children diagnosed with cancer will still lose their fight,” explained Marco. “KiKa has been set up to fund innovative research that not only focuses on treating cancer but does it in a more ‘child-friendly’ way by developing therapies that destroy only cancer cells and spare healthy ones.”
Marco’s challenge now is to complete the 50km Channel crossing and raise sponsorship to support KiKa’s aim of increasing chances of recovery for children suffering from cancer from 75% to 95% by 2025.
To find out more and donate to KiKa, visit www.surf4kika.com.