Yeovil resident Rhys Powell, 12, who has leukaemia, is saddling up to start the South Somerset Bikeathon on 27 June, to help Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research beat blood cancers.
Rhys was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in the Summer of 2000 and has fought the disease over the last 10 years, relapsing twice.
In 2008, Rhys received a bone marrow transplant from an anonymous donor in the USA and is now doing well.
Rhys’s dad Bill Powell says: "For ten years, Rhy has been so brave. He’s always smiling, no matter what. Rhys loves cycling and he’s really looking forward to starting the South Somerset Bikeathon then jumping on his bike and taking part!
"It’s so exciting to see how research advances and we’ve seen treatments develop during the 10 years of Rhys’s treatment. We want to do all we can to help fund more research. Hopefully, the money we raise will help other families fighting blood cancers."
This year, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research celebrates its 50th birthday this year and cyclists can help the charity celebrate by joining the South Somerset Bikeathon on 27 June and raising at least £50 in sponsorship.
Money raised will help fund ground-breaking research to find better treatments and cures for leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
The event is organised by the Yeovil & District Branch of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. Formed in 1972, the branch is close to raising £750,000 to help Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research beat blood cancers.
Event organiser Mrs Val Murley says, “It would be the icing on the cake if we could reach £750,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research’s 50th birthday. Please sign up to the Bikeathon, or you could walk or run if you like. Come along in fancy dress or just as you are. Every penny raised helps us save lives.”
The South Somerset Bikeathon takes place at RNAS Merryfield, Ilton and will run from 11am to 2pm. The route follows a 4-mile course around the airfield and entrants are free to complete as many laps as they choose. There’s also an optional offroad section.
The route will be signposted and marshalled, with free drinks available. All riders will receive a free T-shirt and commemorative medal at the finish line.
For local information, please contact Mrs. Val Murley on 01935 475531. To take part in the South Somerset Bikeathon or to find out more, please contact Matt Short on 020 7269 9009, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Bikeathons website.
Entry fees are £5 per adult or £2 for juniors (children under 16) and families can register for £10. Entrants under 16 years old must have parent/guardian’s authority to take part and those under 11 years, must be supervised by a participating adult cyclist.
People can also register on the day, for £10 per adult, £4 per junior and £20 per family, but may not receive a t-shirt or medal.