A fundraiser from Jersey is to cycle more than 320 miles from Paris to Geneva for Alzheimer’s Research UK, in memory of her father.
Michelle Goodenough, 52, lost her dad Phil Goodenough to vascular dementia on Christmas Eve in 2012.
Having taken part in a long cycle ride from London to Paris cycle in 2012, Michelle decided to take up another huge challenge five years later, this time for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Setting off on 22 July, she will cycle 320 miles over four days from Paris in the north of France to Geneva in Switzerland, surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains.
The journey will include peddling through the busy city life of Paris before embarking across rural rolling hills and hairpin turns over mountain terrain before arriving at Lake Geneva.
Michelle, who lives with her partner Robbie and two dogs in St Martin, Jersey, said: “My dad, Phil, was a beautiful man. He was quiet and quite reserved and had an enormous heart.
“He adored his family and loved nothing better than to be surrounded by us all whenever possible. He had a lovely sense of humour and I have wonderful memories of he and I watching programmes like The Two Ronnies and both howling with laughter.
“He loved to hear about our antics as we all grew up and would enjoy nothing more than to be our ‘go to’ person when we needed help with anything.
“He was always working and nothing was ever too much trouble. We all miss him very, very much. Losing him to vascular dementia was completely heartbreaking for us all.
“To have to watch someone slowly disappear in front of your eyes is like a form of torture. My mum and dad were childhood sweethearts, they still held hands and still were so much in love when we lost him so for mum it was a very, very hard time in her life.
“I have two sisters and we have all been married and divorced – we have realised that we were all looking for husbands who matched up to our dad. We should have realised that that was never going to be possible – he was unique.
“I had a couple of operations on my hand last year which kept me away from doing anything much for quite some time, this culminated in having a titanium plate attached to my thumb joint which feels a little strange but at the moment is ok.
“I have to admit that it doesn’t like cycling for long periods but this is something that I will just have to ignore. I’m confident I can rise to the challenge.
“If I can do something to ensure that at some point families do not have to go through the heartbreak of this terrible illness then it is worth every mile.”
Michelle is completing the challenge with a large group of cyclists who will motivate one another along the way.
James Warren, Regional Fundraising Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Michelle is an inspirational fundraiser and we were thrilled when we found out her plans to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK through this phenomenal challenge.
“There are 850,000 people in the UK living with the condition. At Alzheimer’s Research UK we fund the most promising research into the preventions and treatments for dementia, which we couldn’t do without supporters like Michelle.”
To donate to her fundraising, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Michelle-Goodenough1
Anyone wishing to take on their own cycling challenge for Alzheimer’s Research UK can go to www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/events