Hampstead cancer survivor cycles 1,400 miles for child brain tumour treatment

15:00 05 September 2014

Nieves La Casta flys her native Spanish flag at the finish point in John O

Nieves La Casta flys her native Spanish flag at the finish point in John O'Groats.


A Hampstead cancer survivor has cycled 1,400 miles to four corners of Great Britain to raise money for a centre supporting children with brain tumours.

Spanish-born Nieves La Casta, 52, of Heath Hurst Road, embarked on a 16-day biking marathon from Land’s End, in Cornwall, to John O’Groats, in the Scottish Highlands, last month.

The mother-of-two was part of a team of 15 riders who set off from Land’s End on August 14 and rode to Hythe on the south coast of Kent, then Cape Wrath on the Scottish coast, before finishing in John O’Groats in aid of the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre at Nottingham University.

Ms La Casta, a solicitor who is currently taking a long distance course at Nottingham University, said: “It was really tough. When I registered for the challenge, I didn’t even have a bike so I think I was a bit naive.

“I trained at The Armoury gym and spent endless hours going up hills in Hampstead, Highgate and Hampstead Garden Suburb but nothing prepares you for 1,400 miles.

“There were points in the ride where I didn’t think I was going to make it.”

Ms La Casta, who successfully fought her own year-long battle with lymphoma cancer after being diagnosed in 2005, was inspired to take up the challenge by couple Andy and Jude Foote, whose nine-year-old son Joseph died of a brain tumour in 2007 and have since supported the research centre in Nottingham.

She met the couple with her husband Daniel Hallgarten, a former Nottingham University student, through his links to the university’s alumni network and decided to join Andy on last month’s ride.

“We met this couple and they are an amazing couple because they could have become victims of the pain of losing their son,” she said.

“But they dedicated all their time to research into brain tumour treatment for children. I was really humbled by them.”

The epic ride was the fourth instalment of the Life Cycle series, an annual fundraising challenge headed by Nottingham University vice-chancellor Prof Sir David Greenaway.

Prof Sir Greenaway and his team, including Ms La Casta, cycled for 12 hours-a-day during the challenge, staying in hostels and university halls of residence along the way.

They aim to raise £750,000 between them for the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre at Nottingham University.

If you wish to support Ms La Casta’s efforts, visit


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Victims of the contaminated blood scandal: (left) Nick Hirsch, (right, from top) Clair Walton and her late husband, Colette Wintle and Mark Ward

Timetable for settlement on NHS scandal has slipped yet again say campaigners - as they wait to see if cash is allocated in chancellor’s autumn spending review

The London Fire Brigade has put forward proposals to axe 13 fire engines to save £11million

‘While a new website would be welcome, this should not be done at the cost of frontline cuts’ says fire resources committee chief

Yesterday, 18:01
Khayerul Miah, pictured, and his brother have joined IS in Syria

The two young men from Kentish Town who left the UK to fight for Islamic State (IS) in Syria are former pupils of Acland Burghley School.

Yesterday, 16:46
The government says the HPV vaccine is safe and will protect against deaths from cervical cancer

East Finchley mother accuses pharmaceutical industry and government of ‘ignoring generation of sick girls’ as European Medicines Agency finds no link between illnesses and cervical cancer jab

Yesterday, 15:58
Carl Ryan, who is charged with misconduct in a public office, outside court (Picture: Central News)

A detective who faked records - including witness statements by Whittington Hospital staff - thwarted three investigations into serious sex assaults, a court heard.

Yesterday, 12:18
Firefighters from West Hampstead were called to tackle the large blaze in Finchley Road - which burned for 72 hours

West Hampstead and Hornsey fire stations could both lose an engine under controversial cost-cutting proposals

Yesterday, 10:04
Khayerul Miah, pictured, and his brother have joined IS in Syria

Two sons of a nursery teacher at a Kentish Town primary school have fled the UK to join the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

Mon, 18:54
Counterfeit Amber Leaf tobacco pouches, fake duty stamps, and other packaging seized during the raid

Warning over danger to public health as illicit tobacco products worth £11,000 taken off streets

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder