Women V Cancer Cycle Kenya challenge complete - thank you
Wow. Words simply cannot describe this last few days. As many of you will know I signed up with Women V Cancer two years ago to cycle 400KM across the Rift Valley in Kenya. Now I'm writing this two years on, having just completed the immense challenge (only just completed I might stress).
Along with 89 other women I packed my case a just over a week ago full of apprehension, excitement and borderline terror in preparation for the challenge ahead. You can read about my trip as it happened here and here.
Over the last few days I've experienced almost every emotion you can think of from extreme lows (looking up at the insanely huge hill ahead thinking 'how the hell?') to delirious highs (looking down from the top of that insanely huge hill thinking 'how the hell?'). I've shared my experience with a group of incredibly inspiring and wonderful women whom I've enjoyed almost every second of time with; I say almost every second as the communal bush bathroom stops weren't a highlight I have to admit. I've spent time listening to reasons for choosing the challenge - many of the ladies on the trip have lost friends and family members to cancer, or in some cases are cancer survivors themselves and want to give back to the charities that helped them through their difficult times. I've made some good friends whom I'm already planning the next adventure with - watch this space...
This woman should be an inspiration to all - a cancer survivor and Women V Cancer Cycle Kenya survivor.
On our final celebratory meal we were told about how, along with the four other Cycle Kenya groups, we had raised a whopping total of over £1.3million for the three UK based women's cancer charities; Breast Cancer Care, Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action. We were also making a sizable donation of £50,000 to Nairobi based cancer charity The Faraja Project. The Faraja Project provides emotional, practical and healing support to anyone affected by cancer in Kenya. They are a very small charity, founded in 2010 so will benefit immensely from our donation.
Before I start on all my thank you's I thought you'd appreciate a few stats to demonstrate why you sponsored me/should still sponsor me if you haven't already:
- If you add all the hills I climbed together it's the equivalent of cycling 81% of Everest, not the base camp, the whole mountain.
- Between the group we drank over 5,000 litres of water.
- The distance we covered is the equivalent of cycling from York to Amsterdam.
- And my personal favourite; on the first day alone I could have eaten 21 Mars bars and still been down a few calories!
During just the five days I spent completing the Women V Cancer Cycle Kenya challenge, in the UK 550 women will have been told they have breast cancer, 90 women told they have ovarian cancer and 40 women told they have cervical cancer. You can still help to make a difference for those people and others in the future by sponsoring me here.
If you're inspired by my challenge and are considering something similar, you'll be pleased to know that Women V Cancer Cycle Cuba is open for registering now. Go on, do it!
Enjoying a celebratory slice of cake.
I would like to thank each and every one of you for sponsoring and supporting me on this wonderful trip. I've raised a total of £5,040 so far for the three wonderful women's cancer charities and I couldn't have done it without the generous contributions from all of you so thank you very much.
Thank you to Stella McCartney for Adidas for ensuring I took a little bit of Fashion Week to Africa with me!
Thank you toSportsShoes.com for my Nike sunglasses - as much as I wanted to do the whole challenge in my oversized Miu Miu's, it simply wasn't practical!
Thank you to the following people and organisations for sponsoring me:
Francis and Anne Thompson
William, Kirsty and Sophie Thompson
Simon, Jan and Zack Thompson
Nick, Gwen, Aled and Eleri
Chris and Ruth Burd
Sammy and Olly Cox
Iain, Michaela, Olivia and bump Kirby
Sarah Barker and Dave Pemble
Jeffrey and Christine Northam
Dom, Jen, Emily and Sophie Northam
Tom and Tor Blay
Vincent Markwood (better late than never bro!)
Sarah and Tom Northam
My lovely boyfriend Charles Northam who joined me on a number of very long bike rides and provided an endless supply of leg massages.
Finally, I'd like to thank Action 4 Charity's Ann Frampton and Jeanette Havercroft, Classic Tours' Henk Blanckenberg, Anne Hengstenberg and Claude Fallik, Breast Cancer Care's Claire, doctors Rosie Dalton and Kizzie Shako, and Francis Mwangi and his wonderful support team. You are all amazing.