NINE intrepid Stourbug members will be attempting the ultimate challenge of pedalling their way from Lands End to John O’ Groats in early July. They are hoping to raise a bucket-load of cash for various charities close to their hearts.
Membership secretary Sally Grainger and her husband Pat will be raising money for Brain Tumour UK after Sally suffered a brain tumour six years ago. Sally, who is the youngest member of the group at 47, said: “I took up cycling four years ago as part of my rehabilitation. At that stage I would have struggled to have ridden five miles!” They are joined on the ride by 57-year-old Jayne Whyley who is cycling for the British Porphyria Society, Pauline Perry, who is 59 and riding for Primrose Hospice in Bromsgrove, while 48-year-old Sandra Clarke is raising funds for Mary Stevens Hospice. Also taking part is Wendy Miller, who is 54 and riding for Action Aid, plus 56-year-old stroke survivor Simon James who is cycling for ‘One Voice’ a community singing group who help victims of brain injuries at Birmingham’s QE Hospital. Another member of the group is Debbie Pearce, who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. She is an HR administrator at Sunfield Children’s Home in Clent and is eager to raise money for their own activities fund. Completing the line-up is 68-year-old Richard Turner. Both Richard and Pat Grainger will warm themselves up for the ride by cycling down to Lands End, before setting off with the rest on July 6th. They plan to complete their epic ride in 16 days. To sponsor the riders please see the profiles below:-
I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 1998 and advised not to do any form of impact sports and that my condition could deteriorate over time. Rather than give in I started cycling with Stourbug (Stourbridge Bicycle User Group) in January 2009 to try and stay as fit and healthy as possible. I hadn’t been on my bike in a long time and initially struggled to do 5 miles. After putting in the training and many miles later I completed a number of challenges, including a couple of charity rides, so felt a new challenge was what I needed – this year I am cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats in aid of Sunfield Children’s Homes Ltd.
Sunfield is a national UK charity and independent residential special school for children 6 to 19 years who have complex learning difficulties and autism. I have worked for Sunfield for over 14 years and felt this would be the ideal charity to raise some money for the student’s activity fund. I am really excited about the challenge which lies ahead, although I am sure that it will be 16 very hard days in the saddle (sore bottom comes to mind ) covering approx. 1,030 miles, however knowing it will help the special students at Sunfield will keep me going.
At first doing LeJog for me was more of a fun thing, but the more training and time that has passed I’ve realised it is a big achievement for us all. I wasn’t going to do it for a charity to start with, but a few people mentioned to me that they would sponsor me and what charity was I doing it for. As some of you may already know Mary Stevens Hospice this year had a problem with some of the funding for a project. It was mentioned in the Stourbridge News. The other reason I chose them was because years ago my dad died of cancer and also I have friends who’s family members have been ill and Mary Steven’s Hospice has been brilliant in the care for them. I hope some of you out there can sponsor me in helping support Mary Stevens which serve our local community in peoples time of need.
Brain Tumour UK is a charity very close to my heart. I am a brain tumour survivor. My experience has been one which, unless you know someone who has had a brain tumour, you know very little about them, and yet they are bigger killers in children than meningitis and leukaemia.
By cycling the length of the UK I hope to raise awareness of brain tumours and save many lives that might otherwise be lost.
Please support my cause.
I had a major stroke a few years ago. After living through nine months of hell, recovering in hospitals from my stroke, I needed the support of rehab centres across the West Midlands to help rebuild me. I now have many beloved friends who also are also stroke survivors, and as part of our rehab we sing together in One Voice. I do it for them, to keep our dreams of normality alive. We desperately need funding to keep this group together. Please support it if you can:-
I joined Stourbug in 2009 to complete the 45 mile Stratford cycle challenge. I am now in preparation for the second largest challenge of my life to date, the first being diagnosed with AIP (Acute Intermittent Porphyria) and PCT (Porphyria Cutaneous Tarda) – a rare enzyme defect that can affect the liver, skin and blood. There is very little was known or understood by the medical profession in the UK, I was rather abruptly told by my Consultant that he could not help other than to recommend I read up as much as possible on the subject. I was quite on my own. I now have a good understanding of the still rare and often unheard of condition.
By cycling the length of the UK I can raise the much needed awareness and funds to help other sufferers, their families and friends – something that I was deprived of.
Following a serious cycling accident in March 2012 I spent several months off work and cycling recuperating. I had lots of time for reflection and there were two things that became very important to me. Firstly, how could I support others that would never experience the same medical care and attention as me and secondly, I needed a goal to work towards that would feed both body and soul. With these two things in mind I took my first steps and sponsored a child through the charity ‘actionaid’. Shortly after this I took a gamble and decided to do LeJog, although I still had a long way to go with my recovery. Preparing for LeJog has enabled me to focus on my fitness and thus aided my recovery and I’m pleased to say it has also fed my soul! I am now combining these two aspirations and will be riding LeJog for ‘actionaid’ so I can continue supporting others less fortunate than me.
It started with a 50 mile challenge with my daughter in 2011, then I joined Stourbug 2 years ago and heard about a 100 mile challenge in a day which I did last year. This made me believe I could go on to greater things, hence Lejog. I teamed up with Sally and friends and training has been such a pleasure and good fun in such a supportive and friendly group of people. I guess we all need to push ourselves to see what we are capable of and this is one way. I also feel so much fitter than I have been for quite a while too. I have Stourbug to thank for the encouragement and inspiriration to take this on.
I have chosen Primrose Hospice because of the great work they do in supporting people with terminal illnesses and their close family. I have lost 5 friends before reaching the age of 60 and am very aware of how precious time is and even more , of how lucky we are to enjoy good health. Doing Lejog is a personal challenge and if I can raise some money for a good cause then it’s an added bonus.