New Year Challenge to raise hospice funds

19 December 2016

A LEIGH man has vowed to cycle 3,650 miles in 2017 to raise funds for Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

New Year Challenge to raise hospice funds

Mark Harper, 49, will cycle 10 miles every day in order to support the hospice which cared for his auntie Christine Harper who had breast cancer.

He will cycle in the evening using both exercise bikes at Gym 28 in Boothstown and his own road bike during good weather.

Christine from Atherton was admitted to the Inpatient Unit at the Hospice aged 63 in 2012 for palliative care and passed away just 36 hours after being admitted.

Mark said: "She had breast cancer for a number of years and she was in a bad way when thankfully she was admitted to the Hospice. She was only there for 36 hours but it gave her back her dignity and helped the family so much.

"Straight away she was given pain relief and there was a massive difference. She was a lot more peaceful and the wonderful thing was we could be with her all of the time which meant so much to her friends and family."

Mark was with Christine's husband Alan at the Bent and Bongs beer festival a few years later when he decided he wanted to raise money for the Hospice.

He rode 63 miles completing the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride with the Hospice in 2014 but couldn't take part in 2015 or 2016 for health reasons.

"I said to myself in 2017 I'm going to go big," said Mark. "I decided I wanted to put a lot into something and I'm not built for running these days so I'm much better suited to cycling. It's a good way of me losing weight as well and I can't think of anything better to channel my energy into than raising money for such a worthy cause."

Mark is a regular gym user but hasn't ridden a bike since September and before the 2014 bike ride hadn't ridden a bike in over 30 years.

On January 1st Mark will begin his year of cycling by going a little further than 10 miles and cycling from his home in Leigh to the Hospice in Hindley and back home again.

Sponsor Mark on Just Giving: http://www.justgiving.com/Mark-Harper6

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