Cancer fundraiser: Ceyhun and Ryan reach French Alps as part of their London-to-Cyprus bike ride

Two British police officers, who left London on 23 September to cycle 4,000 kilometres to Cyprus to raise vital funds for a children’s cancer charity, are currently in France undertaking the tough Col de la Madeleine.

Located in the French Alps near to France’s border with Italy, the 26km Col de la Madeleine route is notorious for its big ascent, with riders climbing up some 2,000 metres.

PC Ceyhun ‘Jay’ Uzun and PC Ryan McKinlay gave an update on their progress to the Turkish Police Association (TPA), sending pictures of themselves holding their bikes aloft, with stunning scenery of the Alps captured behind them.

Sharing the pictures on X, formerly Twitter, TPA said, “PC Uzun & PC McKinlay have checked in! Both doing exceptionally well, currently cycling the route de la madeleine in France, a little while left till they arrive in #Cyprus. Stay tuned for regular updates,” while urging everyone to donate to their Justgiving fund for Tanyel’s Smile – the children’s cancer charity the bike ride is in aid of.

The pair hope to complete their ride to Cyprus in 20 days, and to have raised at least £10,000 for Tanyel’s Smile.

About Tanyel’s Smile

The charity is named after PC Uzun’s daughter Tanyel, who tragically died from cancer in 2017 aged just 20-years-old. She had been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, a few days after turning 18.

Even when she was fighting cancer herself, Tanyel was aware of the challenges others were facing and wanted to help.

“She gave advice to help newly diagnosed patients on the teenage cancer unit at the Royal Marsden Hospital and offered support and guidance on how she coped with normal things outside of her treatment,” writes the charity website set up in her name.

Of Turkish Cypriot heritage, Tanyel spent many holidays in North Cyprus and it was here she returned when she was in remission. During a six week summer holiday, Tanyel saw first-hand how local children were “suffering from cancer” because they did not have the facilities and support that she had access to in the UK.

It was these experiences that drove her to want to help other young people battling cancer, a cause her parents, Gulay and Ceyhun Uzun, have taken up in the wake of their amazing daughter’s death.

The bereaved parents have raised thousands of pounds for Tanyel’s Smile, but the European bike ride is without doubt the most ambitious to date.

To date, the charity bike ride has raised nearly half of its £10,000 target, with the total standing at £4,857 today from 122 donations. If you would like to help PC Uzun and PC McKinlay reach their £10K target, click here to make a donation.