She sets off tomorrow (June 10) on a gruelling 21 day ride from England to Majorca to raise money for charity – after battling back to health following a kidney transplant and two bouts of cancer in the transplanted organ.
The former physio, who once worked for the Hatters, said: “My target is £20,000. This is my way of saying thank you to the two surgeons who saved my life and to help fund the research that will make a difference to other people like me with kidney disease.”
Sports-mad Ottilie was born with 20 percent kidney function. When she was 24, she was told she had six months to have a transplant or face a lifetime of daily dialysis.
Her mum Lesley donated one of her kidneys in 2017 and her dad bought her a bike.
She smiled: “That’s how it all started.”
She’s won the world cycling championship 11 times, in addition to six European and 18 British gold medals representing Great Britain at the World Transplant Games.
Ottilie divides her time between Luton and Majorca where she runs a cycle shop and bike tour business.
She used to joke that she would rather cycle than fly home for her regular check-ups and family visits: “But now I’m going to ride my own grand tour to try to say thank you to the two incredible surgeons who saved me – David Cranston in Oxford and Tim O’Brien at Guy’s in London.
"This will support the charities UCARE (Urology Cancer Research and Education) and The Urology Foundation which fund research.
"I want to prove that if you look after your health and wellbeing, you can accomplish insurmountable goals. My fitness has played a vital part in my recovery.”
Surgeon David Cranston described Ottilie as “truly amazing and unique” while UCARE spokesperson Val Berry said: “Her grand tour is fantastic support for our charity – raising awareness and much needed funds to enable us to continue the fight against cancer.”
And Serena Wyman of The Urology Foundation said: “Never has the phrase ‘going that extra mile’ been more apt.”
> To donate go to the fundraising page here.