Press Releases 2016

UWTSD FACE helps Andrew raise funds for Maggie's

16.12.2016

University of Wales Trinity Saint David has stepped in to help former engineer and philosopher Andrew Jenkins, who has set himself a goal of riding 2,000 miles to all the UK's Maggie's cancer centres.

Tangerine Dream Machine

Andrew, who has terminal cancer, intends to use this Tangerine Dream Machine (pictured) to travel around in a bid to highlight the work being carried out by Maggie’s who care for cancer patients and their families and friends.

Paul Davies of UWTSD’s Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering  (FACE) said: “Travelling over 2,000 miles in The Tangerine Dream Machine would be a real challenge for a fully fit person. What Andrew is doing with his condition is an extreme challenge and we are proud to support him in this endeavour. We are preparing him for the gruelling task ahead by improving the rigidity of the body and reliability of the electric drive system while also attempting to make the cockpit as comfortable and functional an environment as possible.”

Andrew, of Swansea, has been busy raising funds for charity despite being diagnosed with terminal angiosarcoma - a cancer so rare he is thought to be one of only six people in the world to have it.

The other five, he says, sadly died within months of their diagnosis. It affects the inner lining of blood vessels and over the past three years the 54-year-old has been fitted with an artificial aorta and has also had titanium rods inserted into his spine in specialist operations at Swansea’s Morriston Hospital.

Andrew, however,  is endeavouring to undertake a marathon trek around  Britain’s Maggie’s Centres in an electrified Quest velomobile, a ‘bicycle car’, nicknamed the Tangerine Dream Machine. He wants to raise money for Maggie’s Cancer Care centres, which care for cancer patients. He calls them “inspirational buildings with great people.”

He said: “When I was receiving chemotherapy, there was often a wait while the drugs were prepared and staff at Singleton Hospital would say, ‘why don’t you pop to Maggie’s while you wait?’ Well, to be honest, I didn’t really want to go from one cancer centre to another but one day my wife said we should go as we’d seen it being built and so we did pop in. To my surprise, it was nothing like a hospital environment, it’s more akin to a beautiful home on Grand Designs! The first thing I saw was the kitchen and we were instantly offered a cup of tea. The view from the first floor room, was so amazing, we were overlooking Mumbles and the Pier. I kept thinking, why on earth haven’t I been here before.” 

Andrew said he also wants to raise awareness of Maggie’s, who offer free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their families and friends.

“Maggie’s have a network of 18 cancer centres across the UK, from London and Cambridge to Aberdeen and Inverness and I want to see them all. If they are half as good as Swansea, I am in for a treat. Maggie’s is important as it offers fantastic buildings with staff and time and care.”

Tangerine Dream Machine

Speaking of riding the torpedo shaped velomobile, which until now has been operated by pedals like a normal bicycle, Andrew said: “You are basically lying flat out with your legs forward. I’ve had a lot of help with my Maggie’s Centres challenge. UWTSD has been particularly brilliant. I cannot thank Paul, Roger Dowden and Graham Howe enough for all their help to try and get me out on the road and to make my journey, under the circumstances, as comfortable as possible.”

Sarah Hughes, Centre Head at Maggie’s Swansea said: “The goal Andrew has set himself is a very tough one and we are all amazed by his commitment to making it happen to help raise funds for Maggie’s Swansea. We would all also like to thank the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David for all of their help in making Andrew’s journey a little easier and more comfortable. The money Andrew raises, already nearly £18,000, from this challenge will go to supporting more people who are living with cancer as well as their family and friends.”

Further Information

  1. For further information, please contact Cate Hopkins, Press and Media Officer on catherine.hopkins@uwtsd.ac.uk/07872 423788