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Ben Lumley

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Fundraising for Friends of Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre

86 %
£1,734.50
raised of £2,000 target
by 54 supporters
Donate
  • Team members: Ben Lumley
  • Event: Lands End to John O'Groats, 10 Jun 2010

Friends of Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre

Our aim is to help patients and staff by purchasing equipment, funding research, improving the hospital's environment. We have pledged to raise £2 million to buy a new radiotherapy LINAC for the Centre. This will keep the Centre at the leading edge of world-class radiotherapy.

Charity Registration No. 264136

Story

Having taken on the challenge to cycle from Lands End to John O'Groats in 9 days, I'm afraid that after 2 days, we had to decide not to continue. With the support car having ended up in the garage just hours before we left, it broke down again on the second day, and was temporarily fixed by the AA. Meanwhile, it was another tough, hilly morning on the bikes, but by the afternoon, spirits were higher and we made it to Aztec West, Bristol as planned. Unfortunately, on the way to our accommodation that evening, one of the bikes flew off the bike rack on the motorway, and was seen bouncing across the lanes and over the central reservation into the other carriageway. Thankfully it caused no accidents, and so no-one was hurt, but we were all very shaken, downhearted and starting to feel that the trip was ill fated. Not to mention that we were a bike short and lacking a reliable way to transport bike.

We decided to sleep on it, but I’m afraid to say that we decided not to continue. It really knocked our confidence and motivation, not to mention added new logistical challenges. We had the option of finding another bike and picking the route up a day or two down the line (to make use of booked accommodation and time off), but none of us felt that cycling “Lands End to John O Groats with a hole in the middle” quite had the same ring to it. For me, striving to complete the ride in 9 consecutive days was a large part of the challenge, and what kept me motivated when things were tough – but obviously the option of this was now over. The two days we completed taught me that mental strength is a critical component of the ride and we decided that we just didn’t have enough left to make it – plus we couldn’t help but wonder what the next disaster was going to be. It wasn’t an easy decision, and to say we are disappointed is a real understatement. Nevertheless, we are still really pleased that we made it from Lands End to Bristol in 2 days.

However, with so much sponsorship kindly raised, and a week off work, we don’t want to completely give up. So we’ve set ourselves a 6 day challenge of different sporting activities – including climbing Snowdon, cycling to London, a swimathon, high ropes, canoeing, abseiling, rock climbing and anything else we can fit in (ideas welcome!).

I want to apologise to those who have generously sponsored and supported me, and I really am sorry for letting you down. Also, I’m afraid I can only apologise to our next two support teams who had so kindly committed time and money to helping us on the rest of our journey, and of course to Kate who put up with us for the two days we completed. I know our new plan is not quite the same, but I have been very appreciative of the support and understanding that everyone has shown since hearing about our decision. Knowing that people understand that it wasn't due to a lack of commitment and dedication that we weren't able to make it, and appreciate that we're doing our very to continue the challenges has made me feel a little better about having to take such a hard decision.

All money raised is going to the fantastic cause that is the Friends of Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre, a charity helping the cancer treatment/support unit at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. They help to fund the purchase of medical equipment, research, and undertakes projects to improve the comfort of patients undergoing treatment. I'm very grateful to everyone who has kindly sponsored me and to everyone who is showing continued support despite our slight diversion.



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