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

Yesterday, 17:47
Pubs and clubs in London could face having to contribute to the costs of policing and cleaning the streets

Venues which stay open past midnight in Camden may find themselves charged a levy to cover the costs of policing and cleaning the night-time economy.

Yesterday, 16:30
Theo Seddon-Deane, who has cerebral palsy, with mother Catharine Seddon

Theo Seddon-Deane was born at just 26 weeks, weighing less than a bag of potatoes, and needed a ventilator just to keep him breathing.

Yesterday, 15:34
Christopher Matt

Detectives are hunting a convicted sex attacker who has disappeared while on licence from jail.

Yesterday, 13:57
Tom Franklin, Camden Green Party

The chairman of Camden’s Green Party branch has denied sitting down in front of a tank on its way to an arms fair.

Yesterday, 12:57
Pauline Cafferkey as she was discharged from the Royal Free in January

A Scottish nurse being treated at the Royal Free Hospital for a late complication of the Ebola virus is in a “serious condition”, the team treating her has said.

Yesterday, 12:57
New Wetherspoon pub opening in Muswell Hill

A controversial Wetherspoon pub is opening next week on Muswell Hill Broadway.

Yesterday, 12:26
Breda Athan helped treat three Ebola patients at the Royal Free

A senior nurse who led on the treatment of three Ebola patients at the Royal Free Hospital has been honoured at the Nursing Times Leaders awards 2015.

Yesterday, 10:47
Dr Tomas Lindahl has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Picture: The Francis Crick Institute

A Highgate scientist has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering research on DNA repair in cells.

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


Angharad Baa Stool in Rare Breed.

Great British Life is offering a sheepskin footstool worth £199 to a lucky reader

You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

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

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder