A Land’s End to John O’Groats charity motorcycle ride organised by a terminally ill dad-of-three is set to make its way through Cumbria this weekend.
After being furloughed from his job at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown bike enthusiast Steve Edwards was inspired by his partner Sarah’s work as a carer to help raise funds for the NHS.
But just days later the 40-year-old who lives in Cornwall was given a shock bowel cancer diagnosis and received the devastating news that the disease had spread to his liver and is incurable.
Despite being told he has just months to live, Steve vowed to continue his selfless drive to help others by launching the NHS Ride 4 Heroes event – a relay ride that’s seeing bikers carry an NHS bear mascot the length of Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for NHS Charities and Macmillan Cancer Support.
As it’s a relay, riders can either chose to tackle the entire journey or simply complete sections of it in their local area.
Steve said: “We can’t thank the NHS staff and other frontline workers enough for what they’ve done, and are still doing now, in helping us all through the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The ride has been a great way to show our appreciation while raising funds and I’m sure the people of Cumbria will give our bikers a warm welcome and hopefully help us raise even more money!
“It might be a bit of a cliché but being diagnosed with incurable cancer has made me realise how precious time is and I want to make as much as possible of what I’ve got left.”
The bikers are set to make an overnight stop near Carlisle with a free stay at the Crossroads House Bed & Breakfast at Brisco on Saturday evening
When the B&B’s owner Julie Musgrave found out why so many were booking in, she decided to make her own contribution by not charging for the rooms and letting all six of them out to those taking part in the challenge.
She said: “It’s an absolutely fantastic cause and just amazing that Steve is still putting others first when he’s going through and dealing with such a terrible situation with his diagnosis.
“I just wanted to help out in any way I could so I can’t wait to welcome our fundraising guests at the weekend.”
Donations can be made https://www.facebook.com/donate/3220881134661338/?fundraiser_source=external_url
Also follow their progress on Facebook Public Group page NHS RIDE 4 HEROES.