Aged 24 Luke was diagnosed with incurable cancer. He did not think he would see Christmas. Instead of giving up hope, he followed his Dad’s advice and decided to do all he could to boost his chances of survival and continue to live his life fully.
After chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy, Luke defied his doctors expectations, completing – and winning – a half Ironman triathlon.
On 1st January 2020, Luke began his dream of cycling from Bristol to Beijing on a tandem bike, to show the world what is possible with cancer. Despite facing a multitude of challenges, including the Covid pandemic, he cycled across 30 countries, covering 20,000 miles and raised £130,000 for cancer charities.
He shared the journey with 300 people, including 28 CanLivers (Luke’s term: you can live with cancer). He was joined by a Ukrainian bishop and Indian schoolboy hacker, faced scorching deserts and treacherous mountains.
Luke’s story has a further layer of depth and power. During chemotherapy, he lost his brother, John, in tragic circumstances. Luke was once again reminded that no one can take life for granted.
Luke’s expedition was covered by the BBC, ITV, Channel 5, Discovery Network, The New Statesman, Sunday Times and national media across the world.
Luke is currently writing a book and producing a documentary of his expedition, with expected release in early 2024. He is also an elite trail runner competing globally.
Luke talks about his incredible journey across 30 countries from Bristol to Beijing. Find out how Luke crossed borders, survived the desert and his brakes failing on a mountain descent. Meet some of the fascinating individuals who joined Luke, from a Ukrainian bishop to an Indian schoolboy hacker. Learn how Luke turned challenges into opportunities at every turn and hear what he saw of the world travelling during a global pandemic.
How do you turn a dream into reality?
Luke did just that. When he was diagnosed with cancer, he realised he had a dream – to cycle round the world. Most dreams die, but Luke made it happen, and watched it grow into something much larger. Luke talks about finding your dream, unlocking your internal energy, and turning your dream into reality.
Before you make a difference in the world, how do you start making a difference in your own life? Luke talks about the habits and lifestyle he used to help him overcome cancer and cycle across the world during a pandemic. Luke talks about the wider lessons which we can all earn from and help us achieve our personal lifestyle goals in a time-pressured world.
Whilst Luke was going through chemotherapy, he tragically lost his brother John. Luke talks candidly about the unexpected way he experienced grief, challenging traditional narratives of what grief should be and how you should grieve. He also reflects on how it affected his parents’ relationship and how grief affected his relationship with each of them. This talk provides a setting for an open and honest exploration about what we do when we lose the people closest to us.
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“Luke’s story is one of the triumph of unreasonable hope over the howling winds life sends us all at one point or another. It’s one that will enrich and uplift all who hear it.”
Zia Yusuf CEO, Velocity Black
“Luke is highly engaging as a public speaker and storyteller. He is well able to hold the room and create emotional engagement with his audience. He told the story of the peaks and troughs of his personal journey with cancer alongside those literal peaks and troughs of his remarkable challenge.”
Luke Mallett, Head of Fundraising, Young Lives Vs Cancer
“One of the best external speakers I have listened to at KPMG”
Rosie Cox, KPMG
“Absolutely brilliant… it hit so many points for so many of us”
Russ, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
“Luke spoke to the students of Robert College in an assembly that I am sure will stay with them for many years… he spoke with excellent visuals and real emotion. The overall effect was enthralling. I thoroughly recommend him as a speaker for schools.”
Adam Oliver, Head of School, Robert College
“It is never easy for a speaker to gauge a talk that can capture the attention of 1000 children from age 11 to 18, but from the first sentence, this was precisely what Luke did. Luke talks with heart, with feeling and sincerity, and with such extraordinary honesty about both his and his family’s journey.”
Matthew Bennett, Deputy Headmaster, Bristol Grammar School
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