23-year-old haematology nurse, beginner cyclist and former leukaemia patient Brooke Evans from Droitwich is ready to cycle the 42-mile route of Velo Birmingham & Midlands this Sunday despite only recently getting a bike and starting her training.
6 years ago, Brooke was battling acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Thanks to treatment made available through funds raised for blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia, Brooke went into remission and resumed her education with a view to becoming a registered nurse. In 2018, she graduated from the University of Worcester and later in the year started treating blood cancer patients on the same floor of the hospital she herself was treated 5 years earlier.
Since 2014, Brooke has been a great supporter of the charity that helped save her life, regularly helping promote the work of Cure Leukaemia and raising funds as well. This year, Brooke wanted a new challenge and signed up to ride the 42-mile route of the Velo Birmingham & Midlands, which fittingly takes place on International Nurses Day (May 12th), and also Cure Leukaemia’s 300-mile London 2 Paris ride which take place from 12-15 September, which takes place in Blood Cancer Awareness Month.
The only issue earlier this year was that she did not have a bike to take on these challenges! At this point, official bike partner of Velo Birmingham & Midlands, Ribble Cycles, stepped in and generously donated a bike to Brooke for her events.
Their support did not end there either as Ribble, led by CEO Andy Smallwood, recently organised a training ride in the Worcestershire countryside for Brooke, ex-England, Wolves and Crystal Palace footballer and former blood cancer patient Geoff Thomas, leukaemia patient Mark Nicholas and Cure Leukaemia CEO James McLaughlin. Ribble provided bikes for all involved as they prepared for the Velo riding Andy’s 25-mile route through the picturesque Worcestershire countryside.
Speaking after the ride Brooke said:
“It felt really good to be out on the bike amongst other people and I feel like I’m ready for Velo now. I can’t believe how generous Ribble has been in giving me this bike and it has really boosted my confidence on the road.
“It makes me realise how far I have come since 2013 when I didn’t know what the future held for me. Now I am not only able to give back through my job by treating patients every day but also take part in events like this and raise vital funds to help others. I hope that my story can inspire others to give cycling a try and maybe they will join me for London 2 Paris later this year.”
CEO of Ribble Cycles Andy Smallwood said:
“Brooke’s story is truly inspirational, and we are proud to play our part in her remarkable journey. She was looking really confident in the saddle during the ride and I am sure she is going to really enjoy Velo and London 2 Paris later this year and we will be here to support her throughout.”
Brooke’s story has been beautifully captured in a film made by the University of Worcester which has recently been screened in cinemas across the Midlands and West Country over the Easter period.
“It was very strange to see myself on the big screen when I went to see Dumbo recently! I just hope it raises awareness of this horrible disease and at the same time gives people reassurance that you can beat it and achieve great things.”