So it begins...
A lot can happen in 2 weeks. A lot certainly has happened in the last 2 weeks for my sister (Sam), her husband (Chris), and their lovely, bubbly kids (Alyssa and Max). Out of nowhere, leukaemia has announced itself, and the whole family (and Max in particular) are now having to get to grips with a new and unwelcome 'normal'. The way they have responded as a family unit has been astonishing and inspirational - they have rolled up their sleeves and got on with it, buoyed by a wonderful groundswell of support from their friends and family.
I live 350 miles away from Sam and her family, who have their home in Northumberland. Getting news and trying to offer support over the phone or via Facebook only serves to amplify this distance at the moment, and I'm left feeling fairly powerless to assist. So when I saw the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Bikeathon poster at St James's Park tube last week, I was inspired to try and do something positive in response to Max's illness, as a gesture of support in lieu of more direct help to the family.
So I'm riding the Bikeathon in August, covering 100 miles (and some notorious hills...) with the aim of raising £1,000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. The training and the ride itself will be hard, a bloody long slog, but nothing compared to the journey Sam, Chris, Alyssa and Max will make over the next few years. Any donations you can afford would be greatly appreciated, and will help keep the legs pumping when the going gets tough :-)