Wigan man's cycling tribute

27 March 2018

A WIGAN man is cycling 300 miles from London to Paris in memory of his brother-in-law.

 Wigan man's cycling tribute

Stuart Shelmerdine, 44, from Hawkley Hall is taking on our challenge to raise funds after the hospice cared for his brother-in-law Victor Leonard.

Victor passed away in January 2017 aged 60 a year after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Stuart said: "Victor was a very healthy guy - he was vegetarian, a regular runner who went jogging every day and really looked after himself. Then he started getting stomach pains and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
"The hospice provided amazing support during the period up to and after his death, providing round the clock palliative care at home in his final weeks, and delivering a hospital bed for use at his home. They also provided emotional support and advice for the family throughout what was an incredibly difficult time."

When Stuart saw that the hospice was organising a London to Paris bike ride he decided he wanted to raise funds to say thank you for the support received by Victor and his family.

He has previously cycled 101 miles for charity but will have to cycle 300 miles over 4 days in order to complete this challenge. Stuart, a service co-ordinator for Ingersoll Rand in Horwich, also has to raise a minimum of £1,900.

"I'm feeling pretty confident about the ride," he said. "Getting up and cycling on day 2 after all that cycling the day before will be the hardest bit.
"I'm up to £1,000 now with my fundraising and will be adding another £300 to that soon. I've been overwhelmed by the response but when people find out you're doing it for the hospice they want to help. I didn't realise how many people have had help and assistance from the hospice so it means they want to donate."

Stuart has raised £300 by selling a running machine on eBay donated by Victor's wife and another £75 by restoring an old bike and selling that on the online auction site.

He will be doing a bag pack in Tesco in August and on May 5th between 10am and 3pm he'll be cycling on a turbo trainer in Wigan Tesco in order to raise more funds - and get some training in.

This is the first time that the hospice has organised an international fundraising event.

Cyclists will travel through the English countryside into rural France passing by historical landmarks and World War 1 battlefields before reaching the Eiffel Tower.

The ride takes place between September 18th and 23rd when the cyclists will arrive back in Wigan.

To sign up or find out more call the fundraising team on 01942 525566 or email: fundraising@wlh.org.uk

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