Sue Farrington Smith of Padbury, who was made an MBE this year for her services to brain tumour research and raising awareness, is appealing to the local community to take part in a national spinathon challenge for Brain Tumour Research.
The Milton Keynes-based charity, of which Sue is chief executive, has teamed up with leading nationwide gym chain Xercise4Less and a number of independent gyms such as Swan Pool for On Yer Bike for Brain Tumour Research which takes place this year on Saturday 25th February.
Gyms up and down the country will be taking part with teams pedalling non-stop on static bikes and the proceeds going towards vital research. The charity funds four Centres of Excellence, at the universities of Portsmouth and Plymouth, and at Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College, London, where each day of brain tumour research costs £2,740.
Sue said: “Brain Tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer ... yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. Brain tumours are indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any time. I am challenging people to step up and get pedalling; this is a fun event with a serious message and everyone taking part will be helping to make a difference.”
She added: “Last year I managed to do 40km in two hours, but this year I am planning to up my game and go for 50km! I need at least 24 people to join me for at least one of the hours between 11.30am and 3.30pm, as well as volunteers to man the stand, welcome participants, supply refreshments and register the cyclists from 11am. Please get in touch to support in any way you can or, if the date isn’t convenient, you could make a donation.”
March is national Brain Tumour Awareness month which culminates with the UK’s premier brain tumour awareness event, Wear A Hat Day, which takes place this year on Friday 31st March.
Joseph Warren, general manager at Everyone Active Swan Pool & Leisure Centre in Buckingham, said: “This is a great opportunity to support such a worthy cause and we are encouraging as many people as possible to get involved. There will be a great atmosphere on the day, just as there was last year, which will help any tiring leg muscles.”
The On Yer Bike initiative began as a local event and was inspired by Paul Halfpenny, 36, from Hadfield, Derbyshire, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour six years ago and passed away in 2014. Paul and his wife Jen, 28, had been together for just a few months when he began to experience headaches and problems with his vision. Together with their friends, the couple launched On Yer Bike for Brain Tumours and the campaign has so far raised £50,000.
To take part, contact Sue Farrington Smith on 07850 832301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org To make a donation of £3 text OYBS 65 to 70070.
More information at www.braintumourresearch.org and www.everyoneactive.com/centre/swan-pool-and-leisure-centre