Paul runs Alpe d’Huez – despite his cancer

Paul van Tatenhove on his run Picture credit: Paul van Tatenhove

Eindhoven resident Paul van Tatenhove will brave the Alpe D’Huez in September, as a sponsor campaign for the Matchis Foundation. He wants to collect 100,000 euros with his action. “I like to contribute”

“A year and a half ago I was diagnosed with third-degree melanoma cancer with a metastasis in my left armpit. I had to go up four floors from the ground floor in the hospital to immediately plan an intake for an operation. My first thought was: ‘I will never take the elevator again’. I like to keep fit and running is really my thing,” says Paul van Tatenhove.

Last summer, Paul climbed Mont Ventoux in France while running. “Especially to see what I could do, but it went so well that I also wanted to walk the Alpe d’Huez. At first just for myself, but after a while I decided to link it to a good cause.”

Thijs Slegers

After the message from Thijs Slegers in which he indicated that his struggle was in vain and he called on everyone to register as a stem cell donor, he decided to run for the Matchis Foundation. “I am thankful that I am still alive and Thijs deserves the memory. In addition, I cannot become a stem cell donor myself because of my own illness. It is a good solution to make this contribution.”

The Matchis Foundation is looking for stem cell donors for patients with leukemia or other serious blood disorders. For some patients, a stem cell transplant is the last chance for life. For a transplant, the donor’s and patient’s stem cells must be similar. The chance that two people match with each other is very small, which is why many donors are needed. The money collected from Paul can be used by Matchis for registering, testing and managing the donor file.


Shortly before Thijs passed away, Paul informed him of his initiative. “He thought it was great, but unfortunately couldn’t do anything more. That’s why I do it myself.” Paul wants to raise a total of €100,000 for the Matchis Foundation. “It is a large amount, but I think it will work out. If everyone donates one euro, we can still raise a large amount with a small gift from a lot of people.” Paul would prefer to ask all supporters in the PSV stadium to donate the amount of one beer to his campaign, instead of throwing the same beer on the field. “In this way we show that football is a sport of fraternisation.”

To raise extra money, Paul will auction sponsored items. “I’m still busy collecting all the stuff. I have already received four VIP tickets for the Frits Philips lounge from Philips, four tickets for a Bavaria brewery tour and EnergieDirect will give me a shirt with the signatures of the PSV players. I will later sell all the collected items through an auction.”

Sponsor run

September 23 is the day Paul runs the Alpe d’Huez. “I deliberately chose not to run it during the Alpe d’Huzes. That doesn’t suit me. You have to pay an entry fee and you need a minimum sponsorship amount. I just want all the money to go to charity.”

Paul walks the 13.2 km up anyway. “Whether I also walk down depends on how I feel about myself. That is even harder, because your body has to absorb all the shocks. If I still feel good on top of the mountain, then I will definitely walk down as well.”

You can donate here .


Source: Studio040

For Eindhoven News: Lila Mehrez

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