Team Nigel’s
Story

Diane, Stephen and Sarah Hawkins, plus Rob Downes are riding in memory of their dear friend Nigel, who sadly passed away in November 2018 after living with myeloma for several years.

“During those years of having myeloma, Nigel fought hard against the disease, enduring many courses of chemotherapy and two autologous stem cell transplants supported by the fantastic team at the Christie Hospital in Manchester. Despite the shadow of myeloma, Nigel loved life and was so often the life and soul of any party he attended. He didn’t let his condition diminish his sense of fun and he grasped opportunities, despite not always being in the best of health. As family friends, we knew Nigel for many years and miss him greatly. We wanted to do something this year in his memory and all of us felt the London to Paris Cycle Ride, raising funds for Myeloma UK, was an obvious choice. Nigel encouraged us to do this, although he thought we were mad, and we are sure he will be with us in spirit,” said Diane.

Stephen said, “as far as this cycling challenge is concerned, the team are all part-time weekend cyclists who struggle with hills and distance so the London to Paris Ride does look a tough one. Between now and September we plan to get into training mode, at least twice weekly, and steadily improve our stamina for miles and gradients. Diane and I have already tackled some longer rides with this in mind.”

Sarah added, “although I’ve known him as a family friend since I was small, Nigel was also a huge influence on my professional development. He organised my first proper work experience placement at Graham & Brown Wallpaper when I was only 16, and taught me that you are more successful in life if you work with people you love, leave room for creative expression and have a great passion for what you do. Many years later I think about him often in my professional life at Paperchase, and will be channelling his enthusiasm, commitment and good humour as I clock up the miles on training runs and take on the challenge of the final cycle to Paris in September.”

Rob said, “through knowing Nigel and another close friend who is currently living with myeloma I recognise the challenge of treatment both for patients and clinicians. There is an ongoing need for treatment protocols to be refined and new drugs devised to fight the disease. This needs financial resources and we are very happy to be doing our bit to raise funds to assist Myeloma UK in supporting research.

“Although we are very unlikely to be leading up the peloton at any point, hopefully we can make it all the way to the Champs-Élysées and do Nigel proud in the process.”

Diane, Stephen, Sarah and Rob are aiming to raise £6,000 for Myeloma UK. You can support them by visiting their JustGiving page.

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Places for this exclusive ride are limited.