When two close friends of ours Cathy and Andrea first mentioned the #pedaltheperiphery idea in support of NIPANC (Northern Ireland Pancreatic Cancer), it was a given that we would be right behind them in any way possible.
Living with the grief of losing two loved ones, Andrea Harrower (48) from Dromara and her sister Cathy Booth (46) from Hillsborough, will on June 9th set out on an epic journey to pedal the periphery of the whole of NI taking in 480 miles in just 48 hours. Preparations are underway.
Andrea, a personal trainer said: “Cycling was so important to Paddy, his self-devised challenges, and other official events at home and abroad. During his illness, he set himself his own challenges as a reason ‘to get out of bed until the day he died.’ As a family, we and our two sons, Fraser (19) and Alex (15), and my sister and brother did a final ride out from home with him only a couple of weeks before he passed away. His motto was: “I’m not living with cancer, cancer is living with me and I’m taking it for a ride.”
Wanting something positive to come from the situation, the money raised will go to research in memory of Andrea's late husband Paddy and a school friend of Cathy’s, Natalie Wilson who died aged 40 from the disease, leaving behind three young children.
As a bid to help 'warm the girls up' for their 480 nonstop miles in June, we arranged a ride out at Slieve Croob, a popular spot in Co. Down, Northern Ireland renowned for its sharp elevation. The ride was led by sisters Andrea and Cathy and the challenge was to complete 4800 ft of climbing... Easy eh!?
Some folk toughed it out and went it alone, some tag teamed it, one guy completed the challenge on his single speed, we had supporters who came along to hike to the summit and cheered along the passing cyclists who really did have to dig deep at times.
All in all it was a fantastic day surrounded by bikes and incredible people who came together to stand in support of Cancer.
We feel extremely privileged to be in a position to offer technical support as they prepare for this mammoth challenge. The funds and awareness that we have raised off the back of our Hilly #fustlefamily ride on Sunday will all add to the overall goal to help change the horrifying statistics of this horrible disease amongst our loved ones.
As always there was plenty of camaraderie and encouragement amongst the crew.
Together we have raised almost £1000 with some folk joking that they donated so they didn't have to endure 4800ft slogging their bike up a mountain!?
We can't express how grateful we are for the support we have had in the run up to this fundraiser.
Overall the girls have raised over £24k with a goal of £60k which is what it will cost to fund a PHD student to carry out a specific piece of research on early diagnosis and screening.
We wish them well and look forward to following the progress and offering of our support where we can.
If you would like to find out more about their Periphery of NI cycle you can click the link below: