Helena ready to push through pain barrier for lung cancer charity

A fundraiser battling cancer is taking on the hills of Shropshire and Wales to raise funds for the charity which has aided her treatment.

Helena Liberadzki is cheered on by friends from Linden Lea Tennis Club in Wolverhampton before she begins her bike ride to Aberystwyth
Helena Liberadzki is cheered on by friends from Linden Lea Tennis Club in Wolverhampton before she begins her bike ride to Aberystwyth

Helena Liberadzki from Wolverhampton will be taking on a 150-mile cycle ride to Aberystwyth with her friend Claire Garner-Woodbury to raise funds for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, having received help from the foundation following the devastating news of her own diagnosis in April 2022.

She said: "I've got stage four lung cancer, which has also travelled to my liver and lymph nodes, despite having never smoked a cigarette in my life, and was told on April 19 last year that I only had three months to live.

"The doctors advise me to keep active, which I do as a tennis player and a cyclist, but I also was in hospital for two and a half weeks in May last year with a DVT, multiple clots in both lungs and an extensive Pleural Effusion around my right lung.

"I was on oxygen for just over two weeks, discharged a few days later, and started on a course of Osimertinib, which has considerably shrunk the tumour, cleared the liver and returned the lymph nodes to normal and is the miracle of all miracles and I am so lucky."

Since beginning the course of Osimertinib, Helena has been able to play tennis again at Linden Lea Tennis Club, as well as complete a virtual London Marathon with a 26-mile walk around Bantock Park on April 23.

Now, as part of a series of fundraising challenges, the 66-year-old will take on the National Cycle route 81, which takes on an undulating course along the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal to Shrewsbury, then along the Welsh borders to Newtown, over the hills of central Wales to Rhyader and, finally, onto the coast to Aberystwyth.

For Helena, the discomfort of the ride will be worth it to help the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, named after the former dancer, comedian and TV presenter who died of the disease in 1994, and said she wanted to raise around £1,000 to aid the research of the charity.

The ride starts on Tuesday, June 6 and will conclude in Aberystwyth on Friday and Helena said he was a bit apprehensive about the ride as she was struggled more with her breathing, but said she's make it there, even if she had to get off and push at times.

She said: "I've done a number of long distance challenges in the last 10 years, but I am apprehensive about this as it is going to be harder for me due to my breathing not being what it was before.

"I am also a bit worried about hills, but in the end, it doesn't matter as I will get off and push up the hill if needs be and then enjoy the downhill bits.

"I'm looking forward to doing it with Claire as we were both bikeability instructors and she will be able to help me along the way."

To find out more about Helena and to sponsor her, go to justgiving.com/page/helena-liberadzki-1682171238317

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