A mum from Saughall is taking on a 40 mile Cheshire Sportive bike challenge in aid of The Joshua Tree, a children’s cancer charity that supported her when her son Jack was diagnosed with cancer in 2010.

Kathy Ford only began cycling in January of this year for the physical benefits but also for the mental health benefits it offers.

She said: “I have received some amazing counselling from The Joshua Tree to help me come to terms with Jack being diagnosed with cancer in 2010.

“Counselling has helped me learn how important it is to think of myself more and do things to make myself happy and fulfilled, even now that Jack is in recovery.

“Cycling does this for me, it takes me to a place of calm and tranquillity, but it also gives me focus and a challenge. I get on my bike and I often choose a place where I want to go. Getting there can be a challenge but making it to the location is a real achievement in itself.”

Kathy admits that this first Cycling Sportive is a real challenge for her but her training is going well.

“This is something I’ve never done before. I wanted to use it for something that has made a real difference in my life and I decided to use it to fundraise and give back to The Joshua Tree who have helped me achieve this.

“Training is going very well and I’m building up my stamina, my only challenge is trying not to stop for tea and cake at the many fabulous pit stops along the Cheshire Cycle routes!”

Kathy’s cycle challenge is taking place on Sunday, September 10 during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (#CCAM).

She added: “The thing I’m looking forward to the most about the challenge is achieving a goal I set myself and raising money for a charity that makes so much difference to families affected by childhood cancer and to me personally.”

The Joshua Tree charity currently supports around 100 families across the North West living with the life changing experience of childhood cancer. It accommodates the whole family, patients, parents, siblings, grandparents and close friends with 1-2-1 support, practical and therapeutic help to ensure that life remains as normal as possible during an incredibly traumatic time.

You can find out more about the charity and support Kathy’s Cheshire Sportive Cycling challenge here: https:// www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kathy-ford1