Adam Alderson’s life was turned around following an 8 Organ transplant to cure him of a rare abdominal cancer, he has now devoted his new life to helping others. Riding a tiny Monkey bike from Lands End to John O Groats is his new charity challenge in a long list of events he has taken on. This time he has recruited his good friend and fellow multi visceral transplant survivor Reza Khosravi to go with him.
Riding to raise funds for a charity close to their hearts The Steve Prescott foundation is one of the reasons they are alive today, Steve Prescott MBE was the first man in the world to undergo transplant for PMP, he inspired and motivated both Adam and Reza to fight and never give up.
Sore Bums Tiny Bikes
The Monkey Bikes have already endured the challenge of riding from Barcelona all the way back to Wensleydale, North Yorkshire last year, and this year we thought we’d put them through their paces again, but remaining in the UK. Originally designed as mini ‘Pitt Bikes’ these bikes are sturdy little troopers and will hopefully rise to the challenge and meet the demands of travelling through the UK non-stop. Fingers crossed, Adam and Reza’s bums will survive the ride too!
The Yorkshire Yaks are from Wensleydale, North Yorkshire and were originally founded as a team name for the 2017 Mongol Rally (an event deemed to be ‘the greatest motoring adventure on the planet’). The Mongol rally involved driving two little Suzuki Jimny’s through 14 countries across Europe and Asia, we had no support, no fixed route and only 6 weeks to do it.
The route will take Adam and Reza over 900 miles from Lands End in Cornwall to John O’ Groats in the Highlands of Scotland, attempting to ride for as long and as fast as they can only stopping for fuel and food.
People ask “Why push yourselves so hard”? Adam’s saying “If it’s not difficult, it’s not a challenge”. Adam is known for his short fuse and stubbornness, if he’s told he can’t it fuels him to try. Reza is the more relaxed member of the team, mild mannered nothing really upsets Reza and will be the voice of reason on the trip.
Follow Adam and Reza on their amazing journey.
In 2015, I became the first person in the world to survive a rare cancer – Pseudomyxoma Peritonei – and the gruelling eight-organ visceral transplant and radical tumour de-bulking surgery it took to cure. The year before, I had been preparing to die. I was in a hospice and saying my goodbyes, at 36 years old. But I knew it was not time for me to go and I pleaded with surgeons to attempt an operation that until then, had been attempted only a handful of times, succeeding in just four cases but never to treat my illness. Everything – our lives and careers in Australia and all we wanted for the future – had been turned upside down by the diagnosis, and my illness and treatment took me to the very edge of my own life.
Somehow, determination, the support of my wife Laura, the incredible work of my surgical and clinical teams, and my own Yorkshire grit and instinct to survive have given me another chance. Today, what I love most is sharing what I learned from seeing the end of life loom large, and turning back knowing more than ever, how precious it is, and how strong the will to endure. I believe in the power of adventure to show us what we really are and what we can achieve – experiences like the Mongol Rally and Monkey Bike Challenge have pushed me so hard, but have shown me that life as a multiple organ transplant survivor, can be rich, full and exciting. And I don’t just want to give hope to those awaiting or recovering from transplants – I want to tell everyone that if I can do it, anyone can.
In the years following my illness, terminal diagnosis and incredible life-saving operation, I’ve shared my story hundreds of times in the hope that it will inspire anyone in difficulty, in a rut, facing illness and doubting their own capacity to get through. I’ve spoken to as many medical professionals about how they too must be resilient and bold, trust in themselves, be ambitious for patients and push the boundaries, if they are going to achieve everything they can with their incredible skills. Speaking engagements to date include Teesside and York Universities, International Nurse of the Year Awards, numerous cancer medical and healthcare conferences, NHS conferences, charity events and membership gatherings. TV appearances include BBC News (national) and BBC Look North, BBC Sunday Morning Live and Quest Supertruckers – we are currently working on a documentary with Channel Four. These experiences show me how powerful and compelling my story is, which fuels me. Today, I’m an experienced, comfortable speaker, instinctive and down to earth in delivery, eloquent and engaging, candid about my experience as a patient, survivor and adventurer and passionate about inspiring my audiences to reflect on and change their lives, something I’m very often told I’ve achieved.
Whoever meets Reza they instantly have a feeling of unwavering stability and deep humanity. Reza’s love for life and learning is infinite. He graduated from three universities (University of Liverpool, University of Manchester and UCLAN), has two master degrees, worked as a software programming engineer, dentist and an oral surgeon. Adding to that Reza has immaculate DIY skills and he renovated several houses.
Skiing every winter is another Reza’s favourite way of feeling alive, fit and experiencing fast acceleration, openness and joy. Trampolining (certified coach!), football and some other team sports are also Reza’s passion to a semi-professional level. However, Reza’s first love is the sky. Reza is a microlight pilot and every day for him is defined as a “flying day” or “not a flying day”.
Serious level of unprecedented tiredness was Reza’s main symptom over several years. Numerous visits to GPs in different cities where he lived and worked in England and Wales did not lead to a diagnosis. Then in Norwich, Reza was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer Pseudomyxoma Peritonei – PMP. It originated in the appendix and then spread into the abdominal cavity. Soon after this shocking diagnosis Reza had his first 10 hour operation at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, followed by the euphoria of being alive and appreciating life more than before. Reza was given the all clear and after a 6 month recovery he eagerly got back to work. He met, got married to his wife Irina, celebrated life and love on their honeymoon in Bali and daily.
After a year and a half from the operation tumour markers started rising up. Reza and Irina packed their lives with more I love yous, meaningful conversations, holidays, adventures, priceless time together while researching the cancer healing options.
Thanks to Reza’s surgeons, Adam Alderson and Steve Prescott’s foundation (please support it here) Reza leant about bowel transplant operations in Oxford. After being on TPN – total parenteral nutrition or intravenous feeding for a year, in September 2018 Reza had a long successful operation that included two stages:
1. Opening the abdomen, removing the large and small intestines and all the tumour mucin.
2. Transplanting a healthy bowel from a donor.
The recovery was bumpy but several months later Reza got back to work and into flying and adventurous mood again. Life took Reza and Irina to places where there were many, not just good, but exceptional people. Their hearts are full of gratitude for all heroes and miracle workers who day after day pretend to be ordinary. They pray for more peace, kindness and love on the planet Earth as they strongly believe that every single soul deserves it.
Adam’s Work With Merakoi
Adam works with merakoi as a patient expert sharing his knowledge and experience within the oncology field. He is very passioned and driven to help other patients like himself to receive better care and find the support they need.
Where We Are Now
That’s why we take on crazy challenges where we push ourselves to the brink. We embrace each and every day by raising awareness and funds to give back to the charities which paid a fundamental part in saving Adams and Reza’s life. We put profits into causes that help experts understand and treat cancer, and patients and families get through it. Yaks’ founder, Adam and fellow transplant survivor Reza both survived against all the odds…they came back from the edge of life determined to embrace each day, to give back to the people who saved them and to support fellow cancer and transplant patients.
So when you support Yaks, you help make that possible.
Help Support Adam & Reza
Your generous donation goes a long way to helping us achieve our goal!