A Worcestershire mother of two will cycle 100 miles in one day to raise money in memory of PE teacher Becky Giddins, who lost her life to skin cancer aged just 34.
Hilary Crook, a 58 year old from Stourport in Worcestershire, is the latest to enter Velo Birmingham, a 100 mile bicycle race taking place in the second city on Sunday 24 September, in aid of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) Charity.
Hilary, a regular in the saddle, often cycling up to 70 miles at weekends with Paul, also 58, her husband of 32 years, will compete in Velo to raise money to fund skin cancer research at QEHB where netball coach and player Becky Giddins was treated.
Hilary said: “Becky was a founding member of Worcester City Netball Club, and during her career on court played for both Evesham Reds and Worcester Reds.
“We first met at netball around seven years ago, when Becky was teaching my youngest daughter, Lily, to play. She was always around netball and was always so enthusiastic and encouraging of her students.”
The pair became friends and, after Becky’s death in 2016, Hilary regularly donated to QEHB Charity by sponsoring fundraising challenges undertaken by Becky’s husband Kevin and their friends.
Now Hilary is gearing up to take on a challenge of her own: “I first found out about Velo on Facebook and was mulling it over, especially as it is the first time the event has taken place in the West Midlands and it includes roads I am familiar with, when I found out I could take part in aid of QEHB,” she said.
“The hospital and the Charity played a vital role in Becky’s care – with QEHB Charity funding the drug trial that helped to shrink a tumour found near Becky’s kidney. This greatly prolonged Becky’s life and highlights the vital importance of drug trials and ongoing research, so that new treatments are continuously becoming available.
“Once I became aware of the excellent treatment Becky had received I knew with absolute certainty that I was going to join Velo and I would do it to raise money for QEHB Charity.”
Hilary will compete to raise money for the QEHB Fighting Skin Cancer appeal, which funds vital research into the disease, providing new treatments and improving the outlook for cancer patients.
To sign up to take part in Velo please go to www.bikeforbrum.org or call 0121 371 4852 for more information.
To sponsor Hilary, please go to www.justgiving.com/Hilary-Crook