After raising more than £150,000 to date for charity by taking on a 2,200km cycle challenge in July this year, ex-England footballer Geoff Thomas last night received the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award.
"I am honoured to have received this award," says Geoff, aged 40, who was diagnosed with lifethreatening chronic myeloid leukaemia in July, 2003.
"There are so many people I would like to thank, but I'd like to especially thank my family and friends who have been so understanding throughout my illness and during my cycling challenge."
The BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award is given to a British sportsperson on an annual basis for ' outstanding courage and achievement in the face of adversity'.
The award is named after the BBC sports presenter Helen Rollason, who died in 1999 after a brave battle against cancer.
Geoff underwent a bone marrow transplant in January 2004 and has been in remission since last Christmas, when he was given permission by doctors to take on the physical demands of the astonishing challenge of cycling the 2,200-mile Tour De France route in just 21 days.
"Whilst I was undergoing treatment for leukaemia, I was given a copy of Lance Armstrong's book about his battle with cancer, which gave me more determination to fight back and inspired me to take on the Tour de France challenge," adds Geoff, who accepted the award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony.
"Geoff's story is truly amazing and one that we hope can bring hope to the thousands of blood cancer sufferers in the UK," says Cathy Gilman, of Leukaemia Research.