Fulwood grandad set to cycle from London to Brussels for charity cause

John Farnden.
John Farnden.
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A Fulwood grandfather is gearing up to cycle 300 miles from London to Brussels to raise funds for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

John Farnden, who works for the Department of Work and Pensions, will make his epic trip on a very special bike, which has already taken him safely from London to Paris in 2016 and Paris to Geneva in 2017 on similar fundraising journeys for the charity.

The bike was bequeathed to him by his son-in-law Ric Clark. Ric became a stalwart Rosemere Cancer Foundation supporter after the charity helped him through treatment for stomach cancer.

Sadly, Ric’s cancer returned and he passed away at the age of just 35 in December 2015.

John, 65, said: “I had the London to Paris ride planned before Ric died and he asked me to use his bike, which I did and I have continued to use it ever since.

“It’s never given me any trouble.”

This time around, John will cycle from London through Essex to Harwich to catch an over-night ferry to the Hook of Holland. From there, he will cycle to Amsterdam and then on to the Dutch town of Breda before heading to Brussels. Each day, he will be in the saddle for a minimum of seven hours.

Last year, John, who has two daughters and four grandsons, gave cycling a rest to join Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s first ever expedition to walk the Great Wall of China.

He was joined on the adventure by daughter Leonie, Ric’s widow. He has already signed up to be part of Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s second expedition, which leaves to follow the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in October 2020.

John added: “I celebrate my 66th birthday in September. My aim is to continue to do an annual challenge for Rosemere Cancer Foundation for as long as I can.

“I’m not sure about how much more biking I will do, but I enjoy walking so my next year’s plans are already sorted.”

To support John this year, visit his Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dsmneurocycle.

Rosemere Cancer Foundation works to bring world class cancer treatments and services to cancer patients from throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria being treated at Rosemere Cancer Centre, the region’s specialist cancer treatment centre at the Royal Preston Hospital, and at another eight local hospital cancer units across the two counties.

The charity funds cutting edge equipment, research, training and other cancer services and therapies that the NHS is unable to afford. For further information on its work, including how to make a donation, visit www.rosemere.org.uk.