When a young father lost his battle with cancer his family vowed to fight on and raise money for the charity that stood by him.
Chris Rand, from Longsands Lane, Fulwood, Preston, was diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer last summer and died six months after his diagnosis in December.
The active father-of-two’s death was a shock to friends and family but his widow, twin and parents have clubbed together to create the Chris Rand Fan Club and are raising money for local charity the Rosemere Cancer Foundation.
In a tribute to Chris, more than 70 members of the fan club will cycle the Guild Wheel route, a feat he never lived to achieve, today.
Nicola Rand said: “He had a lot of radiotherapy and he went to Rosemere for the treatment.
“We really got to know them and they helped when he lost his mobility.
“It is touching to know that so many people want to do stuff in his memory.
“He was an avid cyclist and he thought the Guild Wheel was a great idea, he was looking forward to riding it with our son. But unfortunately he never got the chance but now Josh, our seven-year-old, and I will ride it for him.
“Josh loves cycling and it is one of the biggest memories he has of his dad.
“Isobel is only five and she will walk some of it.”
Nicola’s sister Debra Newhouse is part of the CRFC committee, her husband was Chris’ best friend and she has been overwhelmed by the response of the local community.
She said: “Chris was much loved by hundreds of people. He was a popular guy, he was an active man and he is really missed. The Chris Rand Fan Club was a phrase coined in the eulogy at his funeral in December.
“All funds raised from the ride will go to Rosemere Cancer Foundation at Royal Preston Hospital because the Rosemere unit was a service that Chris really valued during his treatment.
“We have children as young as six, and seniors in their mid-60’s completing the 21 mile challenge, and younger children completing smaller distance challenges. Participants will be wearing special CRFC T-shirts, and all participants will get a commemorative certificate. There will be a raffle at the Anderton Arms Pub in the afternoon as well.”
Chris was a Preston North End fan and his local team the Longsands Lynx football club put on a two-day football event in his memory.
So far they have raised nearly £500 for the charity. If you want to donate visit: www.justgiving.com/CRFC-does-guild-wheel-2014 or text CRFC47 and an amount to 70070.