Bamboozle’s Pyrenees ride ready to roll
*Here’s our press release about our upcoming Pyrenees Cycling Challenge!*
(Left to right) Rob Abell, Harris Hisham, Christopher Davies, Garry Smith and his daughter Josie Duggan and Neil Mayo
A Leicestershire charity’s fundraising cycle ride over the Pyrenees – including an ascent of the classic Tour de France climb Col du Tourmalet – is hitting the road this month after a delay due to its leader being treated for cancer.
Christopher Davies and fellow cyclists Neil Mayo, Garry Smith and Rob Abell had been scheduled to tackle the 282-mile, four-day challenge in May to raise money for Bamboozle, the Leicester-based children’s theatre charity.
Christopher, 70, from Aylestone, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016 after which his doctors decided to ‘watch and wait’ to monitor his condition. But earlier this year the cancer progressed and hormone treatment was begun, putting the start of the ride back until September 18th.
Christopher, co-founder of Bamboozle, world-renowned for its work for children with learning disabilities, said: “I wanted to do the Pyrenees ride before starting the next phase of treatment, which is an operation and then radiotherapy at the LRI.
“Generally, I’m still fit and healthy so I’m confident that with the encouragement of my three fellow riders we can all conquer the 1,444-metre climb up the Tourmalet and the rest of the route from Pau to Barcelona.
“The delay and the treatment have both made me more determined to complete the challenge and raise lots of money for Bamboozle.”
Fellow rider Neil Mayo, 52, from Farnsfield, is taking part to continue his ongoing support for Bamboozle after the charity helped his daughter Amy and the whole family. Amy was starved of oxygen during her birth in 2003, suffering brain damage, surviving against the odds but with extremely severe Cerebral Palsy.
Neil said: “Bamboozle helps to change attitudes about extreme disability and thereby helps to transform lives. Into our dark world came floods of colourful images, sounds, music, touch, smell, taste and laughter.
“Bamboozle helped equip us mentally and physically to connect to Amy. This helped Amy connect to us and the world around her. Amy, now a teenager, leads a rich, varied and fulfilling life.”
Garry Smith, 50, from Cropwell Butler, is also a parent of a disabled daughter who is helped by Bamboozle. Garry said: “Our daughter Josie suffered an extensive brain injury at birth which left her with multiple and severe disabilities.
“We quickly realised there are very few opportunities for fun and play for profoundly disabled children. It can be very isolating for the children and their families.
“However, when Josie was five a friend suggested that we go to a Bamboozle multi-sensory production, and it has been one of the highlights of our year ever since. Our times at Bamboozle, where we are all able to enjoy and interact with their productions are some of the happiest memories we have with Josie.”
Rob Abell, 56, from Countesthorpe, said: “I came across Bamboozle through a business networking group. What it achieves touched a nerve for me as I have a disabled brother whose condition has made life very hard for him and for our dad.”
Rob’s business is Will Planning Solutions and he is a council member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW). His fellow willwriters are supporting his fundraising for Bamboozle by making it their charity of the year and he has already exceeded a total of £6,000.
The cycle ride is part of a series of challenges devised by Christopher to mark his 70th birthday. The 70seventy challenge, so called because his aim is to raise £70,000 in his 70th year, has Niche magazine as its media sponsor. The second leg, The National Three Peaks in May 2019, is sponsored by Vanilla Recruitment while Leicester Racecourse is supporting and hosting a Marathon in June 2019.
For details of how to get involved in 70seventy or to donate: bamboozletheatre.co.uk/make-a-difference/70seventy/
Many thanks to Andy Gilgrist of House PR for putting this press release together for us!