A man who has undergone surgery for TWO brain tumours is preparing to take on another challenge by cycling up the ‘Giant of Provence’.
Jeroen van Leeuwen (35), who lives with his fiancee Wendy in Kinglassie, will tackle Mont Ventoux next month to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity in the UK where the couple want to make their home and its equivalent in Holland where he was born.
And he says that his “push to your limit” philosophy is what has got him through the hurdles of his life so far.
Jeroen was first diagosed with a brain tumour at just two-years-old and doesn’t recall much about it. He had surgery and afterwards had to re-learn how to walk. His balance was affected, but he worked hard to get it under control and had yearly MRI scans until he was 15.
He went on to lead a relatively normal life until, at the age of 32, he began to get severe headaches and a scan showed the tumour had regrown and he would have to have surgery again to remove it.
“I just went into emergency cope mode and was quite calm until it was all over,” he explained. “It was Wendy who suffered and she thought she was going to lose me. I was just thinking of what I still had to do.”
Jeroen came through the surgery, but because the tumour was so near to the brain stem, the surgeon was unable to remove it all.
“It has made me focus on what I want to do, and cycling has been my main way of recovering,” he said. “I had the trike adapted for me and I have decided to tackle the Ventoux challenge to push myself.”
He and Wendy came to Fife around six months ago after initially moving to Scotland to improve his health.
To support Jeroen, visit his website
Ventoux3 is a charity event to raise money for brain tumour research in the Netherlands, where 28 people each week die from brain tumours.
Cyclists have the option of taking part in one, two or even all three cycles following different routes up the mountain. Anyone who manages to conquer all three in one day wins the prestigious title of ‘Fool of Mont Ventoux’.
Jeroen is participating in the leg from Bedoin on September 11 in his recumbent trike which he had specially made in 2014.