Deb in saddle for blood cancer charity's London to Paris cycle ride

A Black Country woman is not letting a battle with cancer stop her from taking on a formidable fundraising challenge.

Deb Gascoyne is getting ready to ride from London to Paris to raise funds for Myeloma UK
Deb Gascoyne is getting ready to ride from London to Paris to raise funds for Myeloma UK

Deb Gascoyne, from Hagley, has been raising funds for Myeloma UK since she discovered she had the incurable blood cancer in 2009.

The then-34-year-old was given a life expectancy of just two to five years, but enjoyed eight years of remission after chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant in 2011.

Despite a relapse in 2019, she underwent a second successful transplant and has been in training for a challenge that will take her on a bike ride from London to Paris, something she said was outside her comfort zone.

Mrs Gascoyne said: "I'd been thinking about doing the Myeloma UK London to Paris bike ride, but I hate cycling and had been putting it off.

"Eventually, I decided I really wanted to do it and signed up about three months after my treatment, which is a daunting prospect because I wasn't sure if I would be well enough."

The ride in September will take the participants on a 308-mile ride from London to the French capital and will be the latest in a number of fundraising challenges Mrs Gascoyne has done since her initial diagnosis.

Tough

She has raised more than £125,000 for Myeloma UK and is currently engaging in her #50KB450 challenge, where she wants to raise more than £50,000 by her 50th birthday.

The 46-year-old has had help along the way, with friends and family holding quiz nights, dinner parties and body combat sessions among other events, which has raised more than £23,000 so far.

Mrs Gascoyne's 14-year-old son Sam, a student at Haybridge High School, has also set himself the task of completing 15 fundraising events before his 15th birthday, raising close to £6,000.

She said she would be doing the ride on an e-bike and said that while it would be tough, she was ready for the challenge and hoped she could inspire others.

"If I can get back on a bike for the first time in 25 years and cycle, anyone can and I think it's great to be active and to keep fit," she said.

"Being fitter and healthier gives you a more positive outlook on life and I do hope I can inspire people going through the same thing as me.

"I'm lucky in that I can get on a bike and do this as I know a lot of people can't, but I know it can help people as they'll see me doing it and think that they can as well."

To find out more about the challenge and to make a donation visit justgiving.com/londontoparis50KB450

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