A group of friends have cycled three nations over three months to raise funds for Rosemere Cancer Foundation to celebrate the life of a mum, who lost her battle with a rare form of lung cancer at the beginning of this year.
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Chris and Amanda Moat, together with Lal Tawney and Michelle O’Dell, completed the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire.
They then cycled between Versailles and Nantes along the Loire Valley in June and have just returned from Cardiff, where they took part in the Welsh Velothon in 35 degree heat to rack up an official total of 700km in the saddle. Including training trips, this counts for thousands of kilometres each this year.
The foursome’s fund-raising feat was undertaken in honour of Louise McParland, of New Longton, who died in January aged just 41.
Chris and Amanda used to work with Louise, Louise’s husband Dan and her friend Gillian Bartlett, of Much Hoole, at a financial services company in Adlington. Louise and Gillian went on to launch their own business, Copa Fizz, a mobile drinks company, last year.
Amanda said: “Louise’s death had a real impact on us all. Chris and I worked with Louise for eight years. It came as a total shock that someone so young, so fit and so beautiful with so much to live for couldn’t beat cancer.
“Having heard stories about Rosemere Cancer Foundation and seen Gillian strive to succeed with Copa Fizz and use it to support the charity, which we knew was close to Louise’s heart, we felt inspired to do something positive. We are hobby cyclists and last year, rode from London to Paris so came up with a three nations cycle to benefit Louise’s cause. Louise was a wonderful person.”
The two couples have so far raised £650 through their Virgin Money Giving page, which they are planning to keep open until the end of August, at www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/8legsgoforit
Through her job with Santander, Michelle is seeking match funding, which will double any final amount raised.
Amanda and Chris now live in Saddleworth, while Lal and Michelle are based in Milton Keynes. For the Welsh Velothon, they were joined by Amanda’s longstanding friend Dee Stobart, of Haxey near Doncaster.
A fitness fanatic who had never smoked, Louise was diagnosed with terminal cancer in early 2017 but the prognosis didn’t stop her running last year’s Edinburgh Marathon or Kentmere Trail Race to raise funds for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.
In March, a Copa Fizz event organised by Gillian to celebrate Louise‘s life raised a further £4,000 for the charity, which works to bring world class cancer treatments and services to cancer patients throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria.