A CHESHIRE cyclist has conquered an iconic Tour de France mountain to help fund a cure for a devastating disease.

Joe Bergin tackled the gruelling climb up Alpe d’Huez after dad, Liam, 50, was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour in April 2020.

The 20-year-old teamed up with Manchester University friend Pat Brogan, 20, to raise money for the charity Brain Tumour Research.

The mountain has 21 bends over 13km and is a epic challenge.

Knutsford Guardian: Joe and Pat resting on their epic climb up the Alpe d'HuezJoe and Pat resting on their epic climb up the Alpe d'Huez (Image: Brain Tumour Research)

Joe, from Bollington, said: “It’s legendary. It’s known as being one of the most famous climbs in cycling and is an important stage in the Tour de France.

“It was really tough, and my legs were crying, but it was great once we got to the top.

Knutsford Guardian: Liam, right, with his dad, centre, and sonLiam, right, with his dad, centre, and son (Image: Brain Tumour Trust)

“Dad always wanted to do this but he never got the chance so I wanted to take the opportunity to raise money and awareness of this devastating disease.

“We probably won’t find a cure during dad’s lifetime but I’m hopeful for others in the future.”

Knutsford Guardian: Joe and Liam at the Queen Mary University Hospital Wall of HopeJoe and Liam at the Queen Mary University Hospital Wall of Hope (Image: Brain Tumour Research)

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours.

Pat, from Knutsford, said: “Liam has been a really good friend of mine throughout my life so I’m happy to support a cause that’s important to him.

“That’s something he deserves.”

Dad-of-three Liam had a seizure at home after returning from a 90km bike ride.

Liam said: “Paramedics said I must have been out for 15 to 20 minutes, and they kept me in overnight for observations.

“The following morning, I said I was struggling to eat toast. He checked my tongue and noticed it looked as if I had bitten it, which would suggest I’d had a seizure, possibly my first epileptic fit.”

An MRI scan 12 weeks later revealed ‘something’ on Liam’s brain.

Further tests diagnosed a glioblastoma (GBM) brain tumour and he was given just two to four years to live.

In July 2020, surgeons removed 95 per cent of the tumour.

Knutsford Guardian: Liam in hospital after surgeryLiam in hospital after surgery (Image: Brain Tumour Research)

Liam took ill health retirement from his head of catering job at the University of Manchester.

Liam, a keen cyclist, and Joe completed a 100-mile tandem ride to for the same charity.

Knutsford Guardian: Liam and Joe on a 100-mile tandem ride for Brain Tumour ResearchLiam and Joe on a 100-mile tandem ride for Brain Tumour Research (Image: Brain Tumour Research)

Liam said: “I am determined to keep going for as long as I can.

“I want to be a force for good and I’m doing this for all of those who have died from brain tumours.

“I want to thrive, to chase the science and to expand knowledge and awareness as far as I can.”

Liam is married to Jen and has two other children, Catlin, 17 and Esme, 15.

Knutsford Guardian: Jen and LiamJen and Liam (Image: Brain Tumour Research)

Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK singularly focused on finding a cure for brain tumours by campaigning for an increase in the national investment into research to £35 million per year.

It is also fundraising to create a sustainable network of brain tumour research centres in the UK.

Knutsford Guardian: The Bergin familyThe Bergin family (Image: Brain Tumour Trust)

Matthew Price, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research said: “We are in awe of Joe and Pat for taking on, and completing, such an epic cycling challenge.

“We’re really grateful to them as it’s only with the support of people like them that we’re able to progress our research into brain tumours and improve the outcome for patients like Liam who are forced to fight this awful disease.

Knutsford Guardian: Liam enjoying a relaxing drinkLiam enjoying a relaxing drink (Image: Brain Tumour Trust)

“Brain tumours are indiscriminate. They can affect anyone at any time. Too little is known about the causes and that is why increased investment in research is vital.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK.

It also campaigns for the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, find a cure.

To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/patrick-joe?ut