Two cyclists in their seventies who cycled the 2,000km from Land’s End to John O’Groats on a tandem have so far raised £2,221.50 for the dermatology team at Poole Hospital.
This is a cause close to the hearts of Bob and Sue Richardson who wanted to thank the team for the care they provided when Bob developed Bullous Pemphigoid, a rare autoimmune disease which causes large, painful fluid-filled blisters to form on the skin.
The couple from Wareham have long been enthusiastic tandem cyclists and so, as soon as Bob was healthy again, the pair began planning their epic fundraising adventure. On 6 May, they set off from Land’s End on their trusty tandem, ‘Daisy’. Along the way they endured every type of weather including gale force winds and heavy rain which failed to dampen their spirits thanks to the breathtaking views and warm welcomes everywhere they stopped to rest and refuel.
They kept their supporters up to date via their Facebook page and on the days when their legs ached more than they knew possible and the relentless hills seemed to go on forever, they were invigorated by the comments from friends, family and strangers offering words of encouragement and kind donations.
The testing route was made easier with a little help from the friends they met along the way from fellow tandemists and passers by with toolkits to families on their holidays – especially when a puncture left them stranded in the pouring rain until they were offered a garage to shelter in.
On 20 May, they discovered they had reached their £1,000 target and a few days later, after 18 straight days of cycling, they made it to Glasgow and celebrated with some well-earned rest – and made sure to do some much-needed laundry. Rested and refuelled, they continued and on 6 June their adventure of a lifetime came to an end as they arrived at John O’Groats.
Bob and Sue said: “We have achieved more than we ever believed we could. Thank you to everyone who contributed, it is humbling in these hard times and means so much to us. This department really have no idea how much they helped Bob to be positive when his diagnosis was made. He was at an extremely low ebb and feared the worst, but their care and compassion were exemplary. We have so much to think about and process. We faced our demons and survived. The most precious memories will be of the people we met, so kind and positive and so humbling. There we were –two naive pensioners on a quest to prove that age is just a number. We achieved that, and we are proud. If we have inspired others, then that makes everything worthwhile.”
Justine Ray, lead nurse, dermatology, said: “The dermatology department would like to thank Bob and Sue for this amazing achievement and let them know how much we appreciate their donation. We would also like to thank all those who sponsored and donated to the challenge. Bob and Sue have been an inspiration and their determination and drive to complete their challenge has really helped to boost morale within the team. All the staff work hard to ensure patients receive the highest quality of care and the best reward for us is to see them living a full life and enjoying time with their family and friends. Such an inspiring story and a wonderful experience! Thank you again for taking on this fantastic adventure and sharing the memories with us all.”
If you have been inspired by Bob and Sue’s story, you can donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bobsue-richardson22?fbclid=IwAR06qPcPaPD9p_CqBYznacV6vBhylHU6oIZnidoTAQbU_LX3ikvp62arxLc
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