Dying Matters campaigner and daughter's epic bike ride for charity

30 September 2013
Dying Matters champion Ian Leech and his daughter Becky have cycled from London to Paris to raise money for the Lymphoma Association.

Ian’s daughter Mel died from non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2008, aged just 20. Ian has campaigned passionately for the Lymphoma Association since her death. It was the third time he had completed the London to Paris bike ride, while it was Becky’s first time. 

Ian, Community Engagement Officer at St Giles Hospice, Lichfield,said: “I always said that my second London to Paris cycle ride would be my last, but when my younger daughter Becky suggested we do a cycle ride together, I knew I’d be heading back to the Eiffel Tower for a third time.”

Father and daughter completed the epic bike ride despite Ian’s bike suffering a mechanical failure close to the finishing line. "Five miles from the Eiffel Tower and three miles from the holding point, my bike broke down and I had to use a replacement bike to get me to the Eiffel Tower,” said Ian. “As we stood waiting for assistance, Becky commented that maybe we were heading for an accident and this was Mel’s way of holding us up. I replied that she could have been more subtle, a puncture would have been sufficient.  My gear mechanism wrapping itself around by back wheel was a touch extreme.”

Ian Leech with his Beacon of Hope award

Ian, who has been involved in the work of Dying Matters for several years, and Becky set a fundraising goal of £2,000 which they doubled, raising more than £4,000 for the Lymphoma Association. Over the years, Ian and his family have raised £27,000 in Mel's memory. 

A week after the bike ride, Ian was awarded a Beacon of Hope award by the Lymphoma Association in recognition of his incredible fundraising efforts. He said: "My wife Julie and daughter Becky accompanied me to the awards and I think this award really is a team effort and is for them as much as me. Cycling to Paris with Becky and a Beacon of Hope Award, I’m not sure how I can top that."

If you would like to donate to Mel’s fund or find out more, visit mad4mel.co.uk

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