Women tackle African bike trek for cancer charity

Four women are to tackle a gruelling cycle ride in Africa in memory of a husband who died of cancer.

Africa riders Christine Humberstone, Jacky Godfrey, Philippa McDowell and Shirley Foster (s).
CAPTION: Africa riders Christine Humberstone, Jacky Godfrey, Philippa McDowell and Shirley Foster (s).

Jacky Godfrey, from Great Mitton, lost her husband Ian to cancer in 2010, and since then has been supporting the Rosemere Cancer Centre based at Royal Preston Hospital, where Ian was cared for.

She is teaming up with her sister Christine Humberstone, from Higham, and close friends Shirley Foster, from Whalley, and Philippa McDowell, from Fence, for the 400km cycle ride across Tanzania in October.

The Unite and Bike Against Cancer from October 5th to 13th is a challenge created specially for cancer charities, and the four are all self-funding their trip so every penny raised will go towards supporting local cancer patients.

They have been meeting for regular Sunday practice rides around the county’s hills and lanes, including the Forest of Bowland.

For the real thing, they will be joined by Brian Ginty, from Bamber Bridge, to ride from the lower slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro, through two national parks rich with amazing wildlife, through Maasai villages and finishing at the UNESCO World Heritage Site the Ngorongoro Crater Reserve.

Jacky said: “Although Ian unfortunately lost his battle against cancer, the care and support that he received through Rosemere while taking treatment was second to none.

“By taking part in this event we will help to raise some much needed funds, so that the people in Lancashire and South Cumbria can continue to receive the same level of care that was afforded to my husband.”

A recent black tie evening at Mitton Hall raised more than £6,000 towards their effort with guests from Ribble Valley, Pendle and Rossendale.


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It was a huge success with generous donations of auction and raffle prizes as well as sponsorship of the team cycling shirts.

Other fund-raising activities are also planned including a Spin-a-thon on 16th August in Clitheroe.

Jacky has set up a blog which she aims to complete throughout the challenge, http://girlsbikeafrica.blogspot.co.uk

For further information on the fund-raising or to support them visit www.justgiving.com/teams/Africa


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Jacky likes a challenge and in 2011 she raised more than £8,000 for Rosemere in memory of Ian on the Vietnam to Cambodia bike ride with close friend Michelle Mellor, from Pleasington.

Jacky and Philippa also completed the renowned Coast to Coast challenge back in April along with friend Michelle Mellor.

Dan Hill, Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s East Lancashire fund-raising coordinator, said: “This challenge is a once in a lifetime opportunity to really test yourself, all against one of the most stunning backdrops on the planet. We can’t wait to follow their progress as they prepare to take on this incredible challenge.”



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Christine Humberstone, Jacky Godfrey, Philippa McDowell and Shirley Foster (s).