Cumbrias new cycling enthusiast, Leanne Adair, is aiming to complete the Coast-to-Coast challenge on June 29th and is hoping to raise as much money as possible for her chosen charity – The Katy Holmes Trust.
There is catch though, Leanne has never ridden a bike before!
Leanne, (36) from Workington, is currently a Teacher of Reflexology but previously worked at Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner. Leanne intends to cycle from Seascale in West Cumbria across to the East Coast in Whitby. Although Leanne is doing this by herself, she is taking part in a bigger organised annual event which will see hundreds of cyclists from around the UK also taking on the challenge, so she doesn’t really feel alone.
They will be covering 150 miles and reaching heights of approximately 1293ft, seeing some of the most dramatic scenery in England including the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors. Leanne’s dad will see her off at the start at 5am and be there to greet
her at the finish line.
The Katy Holmes Trust was set up in 2012 by Paula and David Holmes following the loss of their 10-year-old daughter Katy Holmes to a rare and inoperable brain tumour. Katy’s only symptom was to stop smiling but Paula’s instincts alerted her that something was seriously wrong. Two weeks later an MRI revealed that Katy had a brain tumour on her brain stem and had only 6-9 months left to live.
Katy’s parents worked tirelessly to try to save her life sparking a huge media campaign worldwide but after only 3 months Katy sadly died. It was then they discovered that brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 in the UK. Research is woefully underfunded with less than 2% of the national cancer research spending being dedicated to this field. The Katy Holmes Trust was set up to fund paediatric brain tumour research and in the first 4 years invested £1.1M.
Leanne said: “I came across The Katy Holmes Trust online and was deeply touched by the story. I decided to sign up for a charity trek to Vietnam last August to raise money for them and that is where I met Katy’s mother Paula. We hit it off immediately and the trek was an amazing experience. I knew I couldn’t leave it there though, I just knew I had to do more to help. That is when I decided to sign up to their Canadian Rockies Trek in 2020. I need to train though which is why I am doing this bike ride. The only problem is, before starting my training I had never ridden a bike in my life! I’m doing well though and training hard.”
Not satisfied with completing this challenge on its own, Leanne is also doing a wing walk later in the year with her mother and the Lakes biggest and longest challenge too with a whole team!
Leanne explained: “Each challenge will hopefully raise lots of money for the charity but I know they won’t be easy. I am slightly apprehensive at doing the bike ride alone but I will be surrounded by other fellow cyclists which makes me quite excited.
“Whatever pain I am in and however I may be suffering on the ride, it will never compare to how poor Katy Holmes suffered and that, alone, will carry me through. As a nurse myself I have witnessed first hand what these families have to go through and if I can do something, anything to help, then I will.”
Katy’s mum, Pride of Britain Finalist and winner of the EVA Inspirational Women of the Year Award 2014 said: “When I first met Leanne I instantly warmed to her and we became very close friends. When we returned from Vietnam, Leanne told me that she wanted to continue to fundraise for us and instantly signed up for more challenges!
“I was deeply touched by her kindness, especially as Leanne has challenges of her own, such as her non epileptic fits which are triggered by stress. She doesn’t allow it to control her life though and she manages it well now. Leanne has taken Katy into her heart and anyone who can do that, despite never having met her, will always have a place in mine.
“There is a huge problem out there that is taking the lives of our loved ones but as yet there is still no known cure and treatment methods are very limited due to a lack of medical advances. This is changing though and it is because of amazing people like Leanne who want to help. We are so very grateful to her for choosing to support us and wish her all the very best on their journey!”
Leanne has set up a JustGiving page, to make a donation visit: https://www.justgiving.com/Leanne-Adair1
You can find out more about the Katy Holmes Trust by visiting their website at www.katyholmestrust.co.uk.