When the going gets “TUF”


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Let us introduce you to kidney cancer survivor, Transplant Games Gold medallist and TUF supporter, Ottilie Quince.

At 24 Ottilie was a sports therapist and playing for Luton Ladies Football Club when a routine check-up showed high blood pressure. Tests found that both of her kidneys had barely developed from when she was a child.  Shockingly she was told she was now suffering end stage kidney failure.

Luckily her mother proved to be a match and donated a kidney that Ottilie affectionately refers to as Poppet because “they just popped her in”.

With football no longer an option and inspired by watching cyclists Laura Kenny and Joanna Rowsell she took up cycling.  She now holds 35 gold medals in World, European and British championships at the World Transplant Games in Road Racing and Time Trials.

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Six years on from her transplant she started to experience pain in the abdomen over the transplant site. The news was not good; it was caused by a cancerous 4cm tumour on the transplanted kidney.   As Ottilie was unwilling to undergo another transplant her doctor found a urology surgeon, Dr David Cranston, who agreed to undertake what turned out to be successful surgery, although this kind of operation on a transplanted kidney is rare and complicated.

In 2019, whilst in Mallorca where she was now running her own successful cycle business, Ottilie collapsed.  The cancer was back, this time deep inside her transplanted and only kidney.

Surgeons in Spain said a second operation was not an option.  Undeterred Ottilie, and with David now retired, was put in touch with Tim O’Brien a senior consultant surgeon based at Guy’s Hospital, London.  In 2020, at the height of the COVID pandemic, Tim and his team operated, once more successfully, on Poppet.

With check-up appointments in the diary Ottilie devised the London Square OQ Vuelta A Casa to raise money for urology research.  Put simply she would cycle back from the UK to her home in Mallorca.  A ride of 2,600km, travelling through 7 countries in just 21 days.

With sponsors in place, and joined by her fantastic support crew of Patti, Simon and Kate, she set off from Luton on 10 June 2022 and, having traversed terrain as diverse as dirt tracks through vineyards, major trunk roads, and let us not forget the small feat of cycling the iconic Tour de France route up Alpe d’Huez, they arrived back in Mallorca 21 days later.

Ottilie and her supporters have raised an amazing £20,230.67 for her two charities, TUF and UCARE Oxford, to fund future urology research and training, and to thank the two remarkable surgeons who saved her life.

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