Stratford fundraiser gears up for the 500km London to Paris bike ride - The Leamington Observer

Stratford fundraiser gears up for the 500km London to Paris bike ride

Leamington Editorial 22nd May, 2023   0

A KEEN Stratford cyclist is gearing up to cycle 500km in aid of a life-saving blood cancer charity.

Geoff Cousins will set off from Greenwich Observatory in June as part of the Cure Leukaemia Cycling Club’s London 2 Paris ride and is hoping to raise thousands for the charity.

Geoff, the chairman of Cure Leukaemia and quality management provider G&P, will join a peloton of 150 cyclists heading to the Eiffel Tower hoping to raise £150,000.

This year’s event will be Geoff’s second. He personally raised £5,000 in 2021 but missed out on last year’s ride due to Covid.

He said: “I trained for months in 2022 and was hugely disappointed to be told I couldn’t cycle after contracting Covid just weeks before the event. I am more determined than ever to do it this year and can’t wait to join 150 friends and fellow cyclists to take on the mammoth challenge once again.”

Last year, the event smashed its original £125,000 target. Every penny of the £150,000 eventually raised went towards funding specialist research nurses and clinical roles across the UK, giving patients access to pioneering and potentially lifesaving treatments through clinical trials.

Geoff became chairman of the Cure Leukaemia charity after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2005. Geoff was one of the 38,000 people diagnosed with blood cancer each year – one every 14 minutes.

Geoff continued: “I’ve met so many amazing people though the charity, it’s humbling to be involved. Last year, a young man called Morgan Paine completed the ride despite battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and receiving chemotherapy treatment the night before the ride. I’ll never forget the sight of him leading the peloton into Paris.

“Another cyclist completed his 12th London 2 Paris ride last year at the age of 79.”

And Geoff, a member of local cycling club Wellesbourne Wheelers, said he’s proof that you don’t have to be Bradley Wiggins to join the event, either. When he signed up for the 2021 ride, he didn’t even own a bike.

He added: “You may think I’m mad but I only have three weeks left to get fit enough for the 500kms ahead. But there’s nothing more rewarding than crossing the finish line after a challenging few days knowing you have raised money to help people with this disease.”

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