This coming Sunday, August 4th, will see thousands of cyclists take to the roads of London and the surrounding Surrey hills for the inaugural Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100. Among them will be over 200 Unstoppables cycling to beat blood cancer. One of our fundraisers with a particularly interesting story is army veteran Paul Stockwell, who was driven to continue his fundraising for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research after the recent loss of two former colleagues. Paul tells his story below:
“I am a former Royal Engineer and a veteran of Northern Ireland and the Falklands Conflict. We Sappers consider ourselves to be one big family whether serving or former serving and will always do our best to help a brother or sister in need. We have recently raised funds via our Facebook fund page to pay for repairs to an old Sapper’s electric wheelchair that was vandalised. We raised more than the £1800 needed within a matter of half an hour, and have recently clubbed together to find the £1700 to finalise the funeral arrangements of a Sapper who was unexpectedly taken from us.”
Paul initially got involved with Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research by riding the South Dorset Bikeathon in 2011. His stepson’s friend was then diagnosed with leukaemia but unfortunately lost his battle in the New Year. Paul continues: “With the loss of two former army colleagues, and the fact that the daughter of a person that I do voluntary work with for the National Coastwatch Institution is currently fighting the disease it was a no-brainer to raise funds for LLR.”
“We have another member of our Sapper family who has beaten leukaemia, and has just been for his annual check-up, so not all doom and gloom – but it has certainly hammered home the need to raise funds for your charity and I am in the process of trying to rally the troops!
I used to be a very keen amateur cyclist back in the late 80s, taking part in road racing, time trialling, mountain bike racing and track racing. Over the last 3 years I have got back into the sport and am a member of my local club, Weymouth CC. I finished 7th in the Vets time trial table last season, in my first full season back. I am also a member of the Royal Engineers Old Boys Cycling Club. On top of that I ride to work on Portland on a daily basis, sometimes adding in a lap of the island, and to Portland Bill and back on the way to work and on the way home.
Unfortunately an illness earlier this year meant I missed the first 3 months of this season, so I have concentrated on my fitness and RideLondon 100. I’m really looking forward to the day, despite having a back injury! My goal for the ride is to finish in a time of 7 hours or less.
I will be riding the LLR South Dorset Bikeathon in September and then it’s the Inter Club Hill Climb Championship, between four local cycling clubs over 4 testing climbs in Dorset, in October – an event our club has won for the last three years.”
You can sponsor Paul via his JustGiving page.
If you didn’t manage to get a place in this year’s Prudential RideLondon, why not sign up to London Bikeathon, and take on your own 100, 52 or 26-mile cycling challenge. Enter here.
Or if 100 miles is still not enough of a challenge for you, take on our London | Paris: Be Unstoppable.