Four Royal Navy sailors based at HMNB Devonport in Plymouth will cycle to Twickenham Rugby Ground in London for charity.
During the five-day 500 mile event they will visit ten Premiership Rugby Clubs en-route to the Rugby Football Union Headquarters. The event will coincide with this years centenary Army vs Navy Rugby match held at Twickenham on Saturday 29 Apr 17. Over the last six months the cyclists (Chief Petty Officer Jason Gay, Chief Petty Officer Matt Brown, Petty Officer Danielle Setterfield and Petty Officer Howard Peplow) have conducted hours of conditioning in preparation for the ride,starting on Monday, and will be accompanied by their support team comprising of Warant Officer Natasha Pulley and Chief Petty Officer Paddy Kerr.
Jason said: “I am thrilled to be organising this event in aid of Cancer Research UK and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity. The Premiership Rugby Clubs have been extremely proactive in providing support, despite their busy work schedules. And for a group of inexperienced cyclists (the majority have purchased new bikes for the event) this ride will prove to be very demanding and an exhilarating challenge, knowing the money we raise will go to worthwhile causes is the best part of all.’’
Howard said “Raising awareness and money for both charities is extremely important to me, I have benefited from RNRMC funding like many other serving personnel and their through life support they give to Naval Service families and elderly veterans is extremely important.”
The majority of the teams families have been affected by cancer, cyclist Danielle said: “Cancer has affected my family so much in the last few years. At times it’s almost broken us, made us extremely angry and left us absolutely devastated by the void it’s made in our family. Ultimately that void of losing both of my aunties aged only 46 & 49 in the space of just 3 years will never be filled.
“My hope is that by raising money for research and contributing to the awareness of cancer will give promise to the next generation; in particular my two young children. I truly hope that that a cure is found so that our children never feel the hurt that this disease can inflict.
“My Aunties were extraordinary characters; they were kind, thoughtful, funny and extremely loud! My Aunties were robbed of their life, the opportunity to watch their children grow up and to live till they were old! It’s vitally important that we do all we can NOW to try our very best to defeat cancer. They are my ultimate drive and inspiration to complete this challenge and I hope I can make them proud!’’
Natasha who will provide vital support to the team said: “In 2015 my mum was unexpectedly diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Within three weeks from her first appointment with her GP she had an x ray, a scan, an oncology appointment and she was given the catastrophic news that without treatment she had approximately eight weeks to live!! We were devastated to say the least.
“My mum was inspiring from the outset. For the next four months she spent three days every three weeks in hospital receiving her treatment and she was amazing through it all. She has such a determination to get through it, even when she lost her hair lost over a stone in weight and felt rotten, she just kept fighting!
“A month after chemo she underwent a month of radiotherapy. Every day for a month she had radiotherapy to her lungs and every day for two weeks to her brain! We had no idea of it was working, but she was so fiercely determined to survive that she told herself every day it was. In February last year we went for a scan. Her tumour had shrunk so much they could hardly see it!
‘’Now in 2017, almost two years after her diagnosis and she is still here. At her last scan in February it was decided that she doesn’t need to be seen for another six months. Cancer nearly took my mum but she is a fighter and we are forever grateful of the time we have had and the time we have to come.”
The team would like to thank their main sponsors Audi Plymouth for their generous support as well as donations from Kitworld, Spiders and Milk Marketing, Amberon, Keyham Vaults, WBW Solicitors and Certini Bike shop.
All proceeds will be split evenly between the two charities, to support the teams challenge please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/HMSDrakeR2T100-500miles in5days. The team can also be followed on Twitter and Instagram @R2T500MILES (#500miles5days)
The RNRMC’s aim is to “Raise and deliver resources, working with others, to provide the best support to serving and former members of the Naval Service and their families”. By doing this they provide through life support, by helping elderly veterans in care homes and the service personnel of today, who protect our country 365 days a year. They also care for their families, partners and children, when they can not. In 2016, they gave over £3.7m to provide support for life. For further information on how the charity helps the Service please visit www.rnrmc.org.uk.
Cancer Research and awareness charity was formed on 4 Feb 02 by the merger of The Cancer Research Campaign and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. As the world’s largest independent cancer research charity it conducts research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Research activities are carried out in institutes, universities and hospitals across the UK, both by the charity’s own employees and by its grant-funded researchers. It also provides information about cancer and runs campaigns aimed at raising awareness of the disease and influencing public policy. Cancer Research UK’s work is almost entirely funded by the public. It raises money through donations, legacies, community fundraising, events, retail and corporate partnerships. Over 40,000 people are regular volunteers.