Taking place on 13-17 September is the London to Paris Bike Race, we thought it would be nice to introduce you to some of the people already taking part. Meet three members of the team, who are riding in support of their friend’s son Clark, and read their thoughts on the ride.

We are still looking for more people to join our team – will you join us? This iconic ride takes place will be a truly unforgettable experience. Help babies and families affected by Rb and sign up today!

Email Eve on eve.holdsworth@chect.org.uk or call 020 7377 5578 to find out more.

Matthew Kennedy

Matthew Kennedy

Matthew Kennedy

Hi, I am Matt, self-appointed team leader of Team Clark for our little jaunt from London to Paris in aid of CHECT. I live in Devon with my wife Jane and two children Isaac 3 and Iris 1. A very amateur cyclist I am excited but slightly nervous about the ride. Training is in full swing so a bit saddle sore and finding it difficult to get out bed. However, the support CHECT gave to our friends keeps me peddling.

Team Clark decided to raise money for CHECT after the amazing support they gave to our friends Graham, Sally, Harrison and Clark following Clark’s diagnosis. Clark was diagnosed with retinoblastoma in August 2015 after a white reflex was spotted in his left eye. He had surgery to remove the tumour and his eye a week later. He then started a cycle of chemotherapy.

The CHECT team are on the ward when diagnosis is made so the support is immediate. They’re a small charity that quite literally hold parents’ and children’s hands from the start. They continue to support them all the way into adulthood, from aiding children at nursery and school, supporting siblings, emotional, psychological and practical support for families, plus financial, employment and disability advice and guidance where appropriate. The charity provides social networking opportunities to enable children, teenagers and adults to meet with others facing the same challenges.

You can read Clark’s full story at https://chect.org.uk/clarks-story/

Ian Warren - MAMIL

Ian Warren

Ian Warren – MAMIL

Having finally accepted that I’m no longer young, I’ve joined the MAMIL (Middle Aged Men in Lycra) revolution, bought a bike and all the gear.

When I heard about the opportunity to support the amazing work that CHECT do, by cycling from London to Paris I had to volunteer (Matt can be very persuasive), start actually riding my bike and raise some money!

Jamie Orme

Jamie Orme

Jamie Orme – training guru

Whilst it would be nice to think we’ll get good weather, we’re likely to have spells of bad weather too.  So, for training I set the target to exceed my previous longest distance of from the weekend before, and I make it clear in my mind that I am not going to let the weather beat me, and however long it takes to reach the distance, I am going to do it.  Sometimes, you just have to toughen up; and I also keep in mind a bit of perspective, that if the worst thing I have to deal with that day is that I’ll have some spells of 20mph wind speed – I’m probably not doing to bad!

Then…that deep down feeling you get at times that today is the day to go so far above and beyond your expectations hits me.  Having nearly completed my pre-decided distance (taking around 30 minutes longer than it had the previous weekend) and having a rest; I was not thinking to myself “only 15km more, come on, you can do it” – but I decided instead that this was the day to do even more!  I think that because I’d spent the day up to that point just so completely determined to push myself to do whatever it takes to do the distance, that it seemed, actually, the perfect time to go to the extreme!

But, two important lessons from this:

First, what I already know, is that when you push yourself, you will be surprised at what you can achieve.  There will be many moments over the coming months that everybody signed up to do the event will experience on this basis; and

The days which give you the most reason to give up also give you the greatest opportunity to achieve something far beyond what you felt you were capable of.

We are still looking for more people to join our team – will you join us? Email Eve on eve.holdsworth@chect.org.uk or call 020 7377 5578 to find out more.