I was inspired by my sister Helen to take on the challenge of cycling in Kerala this October, in support of Genesis Research Trust.
Helen had ovarian cancer in her early twenties, she then underwent IVF and my niece Charlotte was born. She was a beautiful, apparently healthy, baby girl. Tragically, for no reason that was predicted, it transpired that she was both blind and severely mentally and physically disabled. Charlotte was cherished by her parents and family but died when she was six years old. The grief and loss cannot be measured.
Helen, for such very personal reasons, has supported Genesis Research Trust for a number of years. My involvement started in February 2014 when I suggested that we do something together as a challenge. I had walking in mind (I am not good on a bike), she said “Let’s cycle – we can sign up now!” The rest is history or, as one friend who is supporting us put it, “a glass of wine can have a lot to answer for!”
The picture I have chosen is to make everyone smile, one of us both taken a few days after Helen had a foot operation on 29 December 2014 and on the following day, 30 December, I had broken my arm whilst out walking on Bodmin Moor. Note the limbs in plaster, crutches and the Christmas tree in the foreground! We are, happily, now both recovered and training like mad to catch up.
We have had such a good time together fundraising, both renewing and making new friendships. Our ventures have included hiring a passenger boat from the Fal River Company, who very generously subsidised the cost. We had nearly 60 people on board and Cornish pasties were supplied by St Agnes Bakery.
Helen also put an enormous amount of work into organising a Christmas Gala Dinner with brilliant entertainment at a local hotel, with a stunning ballroom, which raised over £3000. We have also had a curry evening and auction and a ‘Meet the Neighbours’ tea party where we were delighted that everyone who was invited came, and it was such a good opportunity for a get together. As a result we also get plenty of encouragement from people when we cycle up the road on our bikes because they know why both us (and our husbands- who are not being left out ) have taken to wearing Lycra so often!
We are both getting excited now at the prospect of travelling to India to complete the challenge and looking forward to meeting everybody there.