Barbara Collins has been gearing up to take part in the ‘Women V Cancer’ challenge, through the Dream Challenges organisation, in a bid to raise more than £2,000 for three charities: Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action, and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
Next September, Barbara will join other participants in London and cycle the 116km route to Portsmouth, followed by an overnight ferry journey to Caen in northern France.
On the second day the cyclists will then travel the 136km route from Caen to Évreux, and on the third and final day they will cycle a further 137km from Évreux to Paris - finishing at the Eiffel Tower.
Although the challenge does not take place until next autumn, Barbara needs to raise a minimum of £1,650 before June next year - and she has already got many fund-raising events in the pipeline to help her towards that goal.
Readers can find out more details about these upcoming events in the fact box below.
Barbara said: “Now that my fundraising is underway, I feel really confident about it.
“My friend inspired me to do it, just to challenge myself.
“Since then, two friends have opened up to me about their own battles with cancer. One is getting treatment for breast cancer, and the other is fighting cervical cancer.
“This has inspired me even more with my challenge. I will be knackered for three days, but I will recover - it’s nothing compared to people who are battling against cancer.
“It’s not just the women battling the illness that is affected. It has a knock on effect to their husbands and children, so everyone is welcome to take part in the fundraising events.
“I would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to people who have already donated, and especially to Victoria and Nigel Hopper at The Brown Cow pub (where the fundraising events will be taking place).
“I have always cycled, but now I’m increasing my distances and, instead of going two or three times a week, I’m cycling six days a week.
“I’d feel guilty if I missed a day!”
• Make a donation online by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Barbara-Collins2.