A family braved gale force winds during a 955 sponsored cycle ride to raise money for two Exeter charities who cared for their mum. Four members of Kathryn Hall’s family spent nine days in the saddle cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End.
So far the team has raised £6,200 for Hospiscare and FORCE, the local charities which supported Kathryn Hall, from Silverton, who died in March 2014.
The cyclists faced strong winds, lashing rain and more than nine miles of vertical ascent.
“We spent 75 hours in the saddle and burnt 4-5500 calories a day” says Lisa Rew, Kathryn’s daughter. “We became very well attuned to road surfaces! We definitely got the worse saddle sores in Scotland.”
Kathryn’s son, Alex Rew, a partner at Stags Exeter office, said: “There were gusts up to 30pmh the first few days and gale force winds in Scotland – we were pedalling downhill.”
He explained why they had chosen to chosen to fundraise for Hospiscare and FORCE. “Having lost my mother to cancer last year I had personal experience of the excellent work and support given by these charities.”
The cycling team were supported by their extended family, most stoically Tony Hall, Kathryn’s husband, providing food and drinks in lay-bys. While passing through Mid Devon the team stopped at the farm near Willand where the family grew up.
Also cycling were Jeremy Gay, Jim Larter, with Tim Bridges, joining the cyclists for the last section. Kathryn’s daughter Kate Rew and her two toddler sons helped with the snacks during the last two days of the trip.
Kate said: “My mum was so grateful to Hospiscare and FORCE for the difference they made to her.
“She died of lung cancer (not a smoker) and went from playing 18 holes of golf to being unable to play at all in an unbelievably short period of time.
“We were all lucky that she was eligible for a wonder drug – Tarceva – that paused her cancer for a while, during which she saw not just the birth of my second son but the first year of his life.
“FORCE got her painting, and took her out on Dartmoor with some artists and acrylics, which meant that she continued to grow and add to her list of accomplishments.It helped her surrender her golf and embrace a new more stationary existence, with more socialising and painting, with admirable equanimity.
“Hospiscare gave her peace of mind and quality of life. She was ill at ease in hospital, she found it a hard place to be, and she was grateful to have the Hospiscare hospice right next door to the RD&E – she once stayed in for a week while they helped manage her pain medication.
“None of us wanted to say goodbye to each other, it was too soon and we weren’t ready, but the Hospiscare nurses and facilities were there for us all, every step of the way, and helped make it as good as it could be.”
Our thanks to The Exeter Daily for this report.