NHS worker smashes cycle ride to raise cash for hospice that cared for Padiham girl whose courage touched hearts around the world
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Cathryn Kelly was set the challenge to ride from Blackpool to her hometown by her husband, Roy.
It was just one of a series of motivational challenges Roy laid down for Cathryn to help boost her health and well being when she became ill a couple of years ago. Another of the challenges was tackling the Yorkshire Three Peaks which she completed in a day.
After regular training Cathryn, who is 48, cycled the 38 miles from Blackpool Tower to St Philip's Church in Padiham in four hours and 15 minutes.
"I never believed I would have been able to do this," said Cathryn, who has spent 25 years working at Burnley General and the Royal Blackburn hospitals as a healthcare assistant. "But I did and all the training paid off because I felt fine the next day."
The money Cathryn has raised will be donated to Derian House children's hospice in memory of brave Padiham girl Tia Taggart. Cathryn knew Tia and her family as her own children, Charlotte (20) Ryan, who is 16 and 14-year-old Paige all went to the same school, St John's RC in Padiham.
Tia died last year at the age of 10 after a courageous battle against cancer. Staff from Derian House helped Tia's family to care for her in the last weeks of her life. Inspired by her courage staff at St John's launched the Jet Set Angels project which raised cash for the hospitals where Tia was treated. They tiny hand-made angels became an instant hit across the globe and even celebrities and the Royal Family got behind the project.
Cathryn, who was joined by Roy on the cycle ride, said: "I thought if I am going to do the challenge let's make it count to actually help a good cause.
"Tia was such a wonderful little girl and always had a smile on her face.
"I set a target of £500 but never expected such a fantastic response and I would like to thank everyone who has donated."
Cathryn was met at the finish line by Tia's dad, Lee and Tia's big sister Tegan who presented her with flowers and chocolates. Ryan and Paige were also there along with the family pet dog Ozzy.
And Roy made sure she had her favourite KFC to tuck into when she arrived home.
Cathryn said: "What a lovely welcome home, I felt overwhelmed when I saw them all waiting for me.
"Roy is the one who has inspired me to do this and had faith I could do it and I believe there are more challenges to come."
You can still make a donation to the cause by clicking HERE