AN ELLESMERE Port fundraiser is jetting off today (Wednesday) with her best friend for a cycling mission from Vietnam to Cambodia in aid of a cancer charity.
Elaine Chapman, 48, will join Sandra Barrett, 49, from Chester, for the epic challenge.
The duo, who both work at City Walls and Northgate Medical Centre, Chester, are tackling the feat, which will see them ride from Ho Chi Minh City to the royal temples of Angkor Wat, following the rice paddies and waterways of the Mekong Delta, in aid of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.
Last March, Sandra received devastating news when she was diagnosed with grade three breast cancer.
Despite undergoing six months of chemotherapy and five weeks of radiotherapy at Clatterbridge, Sandra was determined not to let the cancer get her down.
She said: “It has been a tough year, losing my hair, feeling sick and completely drained. I’ve never felt so scared but was determined to put on a brave face. I didn’t want anybody, especially my family, to know how tough it was.
“When I had to go to Clatterbridge for treatment I’d get a lift there in the morning and then cycle the 18 miles home. I needed to, to keep me sane!
“In my head I would say to myself ‘if I’m fit enough to cycle 18 miles a day after treatment I’m fit enough to beat cancer’.”
Determined to help her best friend keep fit, Elaine jumped on her bike too and signed up for the Clatterbridge Ride of the Roses bike ride in September. Not content with just tackling this 50-mile challenge, the intrepid duo decided to sign up to cycle 500km for the Vietnam-Cambodia feat.
The two friends have spent the last seven months fundraising and training hard for their ultimate challenge.
Sandra said: “Everyone thinks I’m mad but every penny I raise will benefit the patients and families at Clatterbridge and I want to give as much back as I possibly can, to thank them for saving my life.”
To sponsor the pair, visit www.justgiving.com/sandra-barrett or call Clatterbridge on 0151 482 7948.