THE son of a cancer doctor who is himself battling the illness, is taking on a 300-mile cycling challenge with an ex-premier league footballer to raise money for charity.

Faheez Shafeek, who is the son of Dr Salim Shafeek, clinical director of haematology and oncology at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, is riding from London to Paris alongside former Crystal Palace midfielder Geoff Thomas to raise money for Cure Leukaemia.

Dr Shafeek was diagnosed with myeloma, a form of blood cancer, and is now in remission following a stem cell transplant and looking to return to work in September.

Faheez and Geoff will make their contribution by taking on Cure Leukaemia’s closed-road ride from 12-15 September, which will take them from London to Calais, before stopping in Abbeville, Beauvais and Paris.

Faheez, 23, said: “Medicine runs in the family with my father and grandfather both spending most of their lives treating blood cancer patients however I never expected that this disease would directly affect my father and his diagnosis came as a great shock to the family.

“When I heard it felt like my life was turned upside down. Thankfully, my dad has responded well to treatment and when I heard about the opportunity to cycle from London to Paris for Cure Leukaemia I was only too happy to do my bit to help.”

When Geoff was diagnosed with leukaemia shortly after retiring from football in 2003, Dr Shafeek was the doctor who diagnosed him, and he said he was only too happy to help the family.

He said: “I have been close to the family for a while and this is the 12th time I have done this ride for Leukaemia.

“Every time it has been special, but this has a really close personal connection for me.

“It is amazing because for this ride, they close the top of the Champs Elysee to allow all the riders to come in.

“I love talking to people and hearing their own personal stories, so it will be great to take in the scenery and meet people.”

Dr Shafeek said: “I am very proud that my son will be taking part in this fantastic event alongside my good friend Geoff Thomas and many others committed to raising funds to combat this disease.

“I know that all funds raised will go towards ensuring more and more patients continue to be connected with treatments for blood cancer that are currently not available to them.

“It is fitting that this event takes place and I will return to work in Blood Cancer Awareness Month and I hope people will get behind Faheez and help him raise as many funds as possible for this great charity.”

Faheez will begin his ride when the team sets off from Greenwich Park on Thursday, September 12.

To sponsor Faheez go to: