THREE members of a Sheffield dental practice are gearing up for a cycle ride across Kenya next year in aid of cancer research charities.
Dentist Sue Mallon, nurse Scarlett Woodhead and receptionist Helen Winsor, who work at the Taptonville Dental Practice in Broomhill, are preparing to join the Women v Cancer Challenge over four days.
For Sue, in particular, there is a personal reason for wanting to put herself to the test and to raise money.
“I had breast cancer three years ago,” she said. “I had all the hair loss and lying on the sofa but I challenged myself to do the Moonwalk in London and was impressed. Then I saw this and I thought I’m going to stop feeling sorry for myself and give something back. And my nurse and receptionist, who have both been indirectly affected by cancer, said they would love to do it.”
So far the colleagues and friends have raised almost £4,000 and have set themselves a target of another £5,000 by December before the challenge in February, which will see women of all ages and abilities pedalling in aid of Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action.
It means getting fit as well as generating sponsorship.
“I’m frantically trying to lose weight and get fit,” said Sue, aged 48. “Sixty miles a day for four days is a real challenge for me. The most I have ever done is 20 miles. I’m upping the game.
“I’m going to the gym and trying to do something every day, either cycling or running with the dog.”
Sue, who lives in Broomhill after returning from Arizona where husband Nigel did a theological degree, is aiming to get back in shape after her cancer resulted in six bouts of chemotherapy, two operations and five weeks of radiotharapy.
“I was basically immobile for a year and the next year I was being nice to myself and piled on the pounds.”
Sue, along with Scarlett, aged 25, who lives in Heeley, and Helen, aged 44, who lives in Dronfield, will be part of a group of 60 women on a 400km adventure from the slopes of Mount Kenya to the shores of Lake Victoria.
She is determined to raise money for and awareness of the cancer charities. “I was delighted with the treatment at Weston Park. If I can help anybody get the same level of care, and if a cure can be found ...”
lDonations can be made through cheques to Women v Cancer through Taptonville Dental Practice and through online justgiving pages.