Pedal power starts a charity revolution
BEFORE Carl Dobson lost his battle with cancer he asked his brother Gerald Page to raise money to ease the pain of future sufferers.
Last week Gerald and 19 other cyclists fulfilled his wishes, raising £9,000 to be split between the chemotherapy day centres at the Great Western Hospital and the Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, after cycling the 99 mile distance between the two.
Gerald, 53, who moved to Somerset from Swindon 12 years ago for work, said: “My brother was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in March.
“After receiving his chemotherapy treatment at the GWH he said he wanted me to raise some money to help make the whole experience as pleasant as possible for future sufferers.
“I thought I’d do a cycle challenge because I do a lot of triathlons. He thought it would just be me but I decided to ask another 19 people to do it as well.
“I had hoped he would be there at the end waving but I didn’t realise the severity of his condition until just a month or so before he died.
“It went brilliantly though, and the weather was on our side too. I just want to thank everybody who has supported us all.”
Staff at the Great Western Hospital set off for their cycle challenge across three cities in Europe
Gerald was not the only one who has jumped on his bike to raise money for charity, with nine members of staff from the Great Western Hospital and three members of the public, also pedalling for the hospital’s charity, Brighter Futures’s intra-operative radiotherapy appeal.
Brighter Futures is trying to raise £75,000 to fund a year’s worth of cutting edge breast cancer treatment, and as part of their fundraising the 12 are taking on the Three Cities Cycle Challenge in a 338-mile trip from London to Amsterdam and on to Brussels over four days.
Speaking before she set off on the challenge, consultant rheumatologist Lyn Williamson said: “There are a lot of treatments which aren’t funded on the NHS and it’s good to be able to support them. Some treatments, like kidney machines, start off as not being on the NHS and now they are standard practice today.”
Nadia Cruz and friends are doing a 24 hour cycle at Asda Walmart to fundraise for CALM, using a bike donated by Kiss Gym. Left to right, Eden Parry, Matt Morecroft, Max Goncalves, Nadia Cruz, Stuart Lynch and Rosina Hoyland
Meanwhile, 12 other youngsters are planning the challenge of a lifetime when they will cycle for 24 hours straight at Asda at the Orbital in North Swindon to raise money for CALM.
From 6pm tomorrow to 6pm on Saturday the youngsters will pedal through the night as part of the fundraising element of their NCS course.
Nadia Cruz, of Old Town, is one of the youngsters taking on the challenge.
The 16-year-old said: “We thought it would have more impact if we went for 24 hours because it’s quite a long time.
“And we thought we’d do it in Asda where customers are already going to be coming along.
“It’s part of the government’s NCS course which I’ve been taking part in this summer.”
- To suggest your own fundraising ideas or get involved with existing events to raise money for the breast cancer intra-operative radiotherapy appeal, email fundraising @gwh.nhs.uk or call 01793 605631.
- To donate to the Brighter Futures’ Breast Cancer Appeal, visit justgiving.com/brighterfutures3.
- To sponsor Gerald and the team, donate through www.justgiving. com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/ TRIBOYS90.
- For more information about CALM visit www.calmcharity.org.To support Nadia and her colleagues go to www.justgiving.com/24-hour-cycleride