Sheffield teacher’s charity cycle trek in memory of niece

Ian's niece Lauren, who sadly died aged just 11 months.

Ian's niece Lauren, who sadly died aged just 11 months.

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A TEACHER from Sheffield is getting on his bike for a series of charity challenges dedicated to the memory of his late niece.

Ian Featherstone aims to cycle almost 1,000 miles in seven days to raise cash for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, where his niece Lauren Sophie Tranter passed away last year.

Accompanied by his friend Dr John O’Connell, of Tramways Surgery, Hillsborough, the 33-year-old will ride across the Pyrenees - from Santander in Spain to St Astier in France - as a tribute to her memory.

Lauren was just a baby when she was diagnosed with the rare condition mitochondrial disease. For the first 10 months of her life it was managed with medication, but she was referred to the hospice after her health began to deteriorate. The youngster died in the arms of her parents, Claire and Matthew, in October last year, two weeks before her first birthday.

Since then her uncle Ian - a teacher at Ecclesfield Secondary School - has been raising money for Bluebell Wood. So far, he has raised around £3,000 and will also take part in the Park 2 Park Bike Ride at Rother Valley Country Park on September 2.

Ian said: “Bluebell Wood is important to me as they cared for my beautiful niece during the last few weeks of her short life. Lauren passed in the loving care of her parents and the committed staff. Her last few weeks were comfortable and happy. The love and emotional support given in the time we spent there was so important.”

To sponsor Ian, visit the website www.justgiving.com/laurensfund