Family's cycling challenge to provide mum support during leukemia fight
- Credit: Sue Whitfield
A Norwich cyclist is set to complete a 160-mile ride to Sheffield to support his stepsister in her leukemia fight, after her family was given no financial support while shielding.
Sue Whitfield, 35, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2017 and is set to have a bone marrow transplant next month following some success from trial treatment at King's College Hospital, in London.
Her husband Andrew stopped working as a nurse practitioner and her children home schooled to prevent bringing the virus home but the decision meant the family has not received any financial support.
Her stepbrother Rob Aldred, from Drayton, decided he wanted to support his positive and caring sister and her family, including two children aged eight and five.
Mr Aldred said; "I could have sent her some money but to me, that felt a bit easy and a bit shallow. She has gone through so much since 2017.
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"She doesn't need to be worrying if they are buying food or paying the bills, she needs to be concentrating on getting better."
His target is £3,000 with Mrs Whitfield asking that proceeds also be split between Hallamshire Hospital and Blood Cancer UK, which has supported her in her treatment.
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The mum-of-two said; "I have been given chances of 50/50 of surviving this transplant, everyone is acutely aware we have young children, we are staying outside as much as possible and we are making memories."
After the procedure, she will have to stay in an air-locked hospital room for at least eight weeks, with hopes some of the money can buy an IPad to keep her in contact with her family.
Mr Aldred, 45, will set off with his friend Scott Randall, from Hellesdon, on September 10.
Arriving in Sheffield on September 12, Mrs Whitfield, who is also a keen cyclist, hopes to join them for the last 10 to 15 miles before hosting a celebratory event outside.
"I think I will be an emotional wreck at that point," Mr Aldred said.
The dad-of-two has had just over a month of training, having only cycled 28km all year.
He said: "During training sessions, I'm on the bike in a gym I've made, there have been times you're an hour and 20 or hour and half in and you want to give in because everything is burning and it feels really hard.
"Then you think, she doesn't get to give up the fight. That really pushes you on."
To find out more about the challenge of donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cycleforsue