Super-fit cyclist hit by shock cancer diagnosis aged 28

A super-fit cyclist has vowed to fight on after being given a bleak cancer diagnosis.

Triathlete and keen road racer Chris Riley, 28, a barber from Steeton, near Keighley, was told by doctors last week that he was suffering from stage 4 stomach cancer.

Chris, who is engaged to be married to childhood sweetheart Elle, was told he might live for another two years, depending on how he responds to chemotherapy.

Despite the devastating news, Chris has told friends he’s optimistic and determined to fight it.

Chris Riley and partner Elle

He and Elle are looking at having his sperm frozen so that there is a chance of having children in future years.

Leah Sowrey, his sister-in-law, said everyone was rallying round to raise funds to pay for possible future treatment at a private German hospital.

In just a few hours, more than £12,000 has been raised on a Go Fund Me page towards care and treatment.

Chris first became poorly in January when he began having ‘anxiety attacks’ which were put down to depression by his GP.

He was given a prescription and the panic attacks subsided. However he went on to develop stomach cramps and began losing weight.

Chris Riley and partner Elle

Initially it was thought to be a stomach ulcer but, around four weeks ago, Chris started vomiting blood and further tests were carried out.

Although fit  and healthy, and with no family history of cancer, Chris was told he had stomach cancer which had already spread to other parts of his body.

Leah said: “Chris is a trooper. He said ‘I am so glad it’s me and not somebody else’ which shows the person he is.

“He is 100% optimistic and says he will be going to Germany to have his insides taken out and become the bionic man.”

Chris is taking inspiration from the story of fellow cyclist Lance Armstrong who beat advanced testicular cancer which had spread to his lungs and brain.

Richard Hunt, Chris’ stepdad, said everyone was overwhelmed by the generosity of people who have donated to the Go Fund Me page in just 24 hours.

“We are being as positive as possible. The age of Chris, and his fitness, are on his side along with his will to live.”

Many of those giving money are parents of children who have had their hair cut at Hard Rock Barbers at Cross Hills, near Keighley, where Chris works.

The fundraising page can be found here.


Yorkshire Live – Health