Thursday, 23 May 2024
Thursday, 23 May 2024

Breast cancer survivor and dog join 100-mile charity bike ride

A breast cancer survivor and her husband joined 70 cyclists to pedal 100 miles from Derby to Skegness in aid of the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre – and they even brought their dog along for the ride!

Around 70 hardy cyclists took part in the 10th annual ‘SkegVegas100’ on May 13, pedalling all the way from Ockbrook to the holiday centre, raising thousands for the charity with their efforts.

They were waved off from The Queen’s Head in Ockbrook by the newly appointed High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Theresa Peltier, along with charity chairman Alan Grimadell.

Among the cyclists were Derby couple Kaye and Dan Donovan, who brought their 12-year-old border terrier Scooby along with them for the ride – and said he loved every minute!

Kaye and Dan are devoted to their dog and say he loves to ride along the back with them when they are off on the road together. He has also joined the couple on walks up the country’s tallest peaks, with Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon all already ticked off his canine bucket list.

Breast cancer survivor and dog join 100-mile charity bike ride

Taking part in the SkegVegas100, Scooby rode in a special carrier with regular stops en route.

But the couple’s achievement in doing the ride wasn’t just about their dog.

For Kaye, 41, it was a personal goal to get back into the saddle as it was the first 100-mile bike ride the keen cyclist had undertaken since 2018 – having been treated twice for breast cancer since then.

Having been through years of operations and chemo, Kaye – who only took up serious cycling with her husband in 2016 – said she had enjoyed getting her fitness back this year to train for the ride.

She said:

“The care I have received has been second to none. It’s just been absolutely amazing. The hardest thing has been when I was treated during Covid, Dan couldn’t be there with me.

“The ride went really well. We were in the first group of 30 that arrived in Skegness. Scooby loved the attention that he got with every stop!

“It was brilliant. It was emotional to say the least, when I got to 100 miles – although we ended up doing 111 because we had cycled to the starting line. I just said: ‘I’ve done it! I’ve done 100 miles!’

“When we got to the holiday centre, the staff were so incredible. That’s what we do it for. The staff were so grateful to us for doing the ride but we just think it’s the least we can do.”

Other riders included friends Sarah Sisson and Sandra Evans, who were undertaking a 100-mile distance for the first time, having taken up serious cycling during the lockdown.

The High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Theresa Peltier, said she had heard of the good work of the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre and, with her personal experience of adoption, knew how important something like a five-day break by the seaside could be for the children who go.

She said:

“I understand how something that’s just giving a child a holiday that they may not have experienced before, and that takes them out of an environment that may not always be great for them, these are the things that stay with them. These are the things that enhance their well-being and maybe just give them a little bit of support.”

The Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre has been going for 132 years and pays for five day stays in Skegness for children who might not otherwise get a break.

Chairman Alan Grimadell, who was on hand to wave off the riders before greeting them at the other end of the ride in Skegness, said:

“This was the 10th anniversary of the SkegVegas100 ride and it was brilliant to see so many riders there in 2023 – nearly double last year’s number.

“They’ve managed to raise nearly £8,000 which is an amazing total but it would be great to see even more support for our charity which does amazing things for the children we look after. I’d like to congratulate all our riders for putting in hours of training to complete the 100 miles distance from Derby to Skegness. Their efforts are enormously appreciated.”

You can still support the SkegVegas100 bike ride, via this link: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/skegvegas.

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