Douglas Trudgill from Roydon, Norfolk, will be pedalling the streets of Norfolk with a team of nine family and friends to fundraise for The Sick Children’s Trust, a charity that supported his family when his niece, Ava, was seriously ill in hospital.
In August 2013, four year old Ava was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in her kidney. Her parents, Robert and Claire Wattam were told that she would need urgent life-saving surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
Robert and Claire, both from Bressingham, were able to stay close by to Ava while she was in hospital in Acorn House, a ‘Home from Home’ provided by The Sick Children’s Trust.
Claire says “It was amazing to be able to stay in Acorn House while Ava was in hospital especially the nights after her surgery. It was a real comfort to be able to get some time out from the ward knowing that we were just minutes away from Ava should she need us. Without the charity’s accommodation, we would have had to travel to and from Bressingham every day which would have taken up to two hours.
“Our older daughter, Martha who is eight, was really worried about her younger sister. It was great that she had the option to come and stay with us. She was such a comfort to Ava and distracted her from her treatment, and the other not so nice parts of having chemotherapy! She always managed to put a smile back on Ava’s face.”
To say thank you for the charity’s support, Claire’s brother, Douglas has organised the Great Norfolk Cycle ride. It will begin on Friday 16th May and will consist of a 3 day 240 mile cycle ride around the borders of Norfolk. Douglas will be taking part in the challenge with Ava’s dad, Robert Wattam, Ava’s other uncle, Nigel Huddlestone and friends; Neil Taylor, Nicholas Self, Nick Culley, Tim Peacock, James Button, Craig Hopper and Jason Wyatt.
The challenging route will begin in Diss, head up towards Hunstanton and follow the coastline round to Southwold before heading back to Diss to complete the cycle. The team are hoping to raise £10,000 for the charity and are already half way, having raised an incredible £5,086 in total for The Sick Children’s Trust.
“Ava has just finished a course of chemotherapy and her prognosis is good which is brilliant news. I am so proud that our family and friends are taking on such a brave challenge for The Sick Children’s Trust. I hope that the money they raise will ensure that families facing similar situations in the future can also benefit from the charity’s ‘Homes from Home.” Claire adds.
Jane Featherstone, Head of Fundraising for The Sick Children’s Trust said “We are pleased to hear that Ava is doing well and are so grateful to the Great Norfolk team for taking on such a tough challenge in aid of The Sick Children’s Trust.
“It costs us £28 to accommodate a family for one night in our ‘Home from Home’ accommodation so the money that they have raised so far and hope to raise will help us to accommodate many families in the future who have seriously ill children in hospitals far from home. We can’t wait to hear how they get on.”
To sponsor The Great Norfolk Cycle team and support their challenge please visit: www.justgiving.com/teams/thegreatnorfolkrideoff