Please view our cookie policy that explains what cookies are and how they are used on our website. This also provides you with a guide on how to disable cookies, but please be aware that parts of the site will not function correctly if you disable them.

By closing this message, you consent to our use of cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Orthopaedic surgeon completes 'toughest event on the planet' for his dad

Orthopaedic surgeon completes 'toughest event on the planet' for his dad

Posted on Tuesday 15th May 2012

L-R: Daniel Dowen with his mum Maureen, dad Pete and brother James

A trainee Orthopaedic Surgeon currently based at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle has completed ‘Tough Mudder’ – a 12 mile-long obstacle course designed by the Special Forces to test your all-round strength, stamina and mental grit. Daniel Dowen took part in the event on 12 May in Northamptonshire to raise money for Pete’s Pancreas Project – a fundraising effort named after his dad who is suffering from an extremely rare type of pancreatic cancer.

Tough Mudder, which saw Daniel, his brother James and over 50 of their friends face mud, fire, ice-water and 10,000 volts of electricity, was the first in a series of fundraising activities Daniel and his family will be conducting over the next few years in order to achieve their target of £150,000. They have already raised a staggering £64,387 for the project.

Daniel’s dad, Pete, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the age of 62, a month into his retirement in November 2011. He underwent major surgery in December 2011 at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle and, despite this, ensured he made Daniel’s wedding in January 2012. Pete’s tumour was subsequently found to be an extremely rare form of cancer called ‘Acinar cell’ type. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy, although there is little research to guide his doctors as to whether this will be beneficial. Pete’s Pancreas Project will finance some research to help people in a similar situation to Pete, where little is known about their condition. The Dowen Trust Fund has been set up by Daniel and Pete’s surgeon at Freeman Hospital.

Daniel said: “Pancreatic cancer has been in the headlines a lot over the last few years, partly because of its poor prognosis and also as some famous individuals have sadly died from this disease (Steve Jobs and Patrick Swayze).

“We hope that by raising some money for this cause, we can help other patients and their families who are faced with the same diagnosis. We also want to raise awareness of this very rare variant of pancreatic cancer.”

The next fundraising event Daniel is taking part in is the Coast to Coast cycle ride on 19 July 2012 which involves a 136 mile bike ride from Whitehaven to Sunderland.

Donations to Pete’s Pancreas Project can be made at

To find out more about the project and to follow Daniel and his family’s fundraising ideas and progress, visit