Memorial riders aim for £10,000
A group of friends are determined to raise £10,000 for Southwell Medical Centre and Diabetes UK in memory of Mrs Kathryn West, who died just before Christmas.
Mrs West, of Fiskerton Road, Rolleston, died in Nottingham City Hospital, aged 48. She left her husband, Mr Andrew West (52) and two sons, Ben (23) and Sam (20).
Her health problems were caused by diabetes-related illnesses that began when she became pregnant.
The diabetes was diagnosed early in her first pregnancy but disappeared when she gave birth.
It returned when she became pregnant for a second time and that time did not go away.
Mr West said doctors were initially able to control the problems that diabetes could bring.
The condition eventually affected Mrs West’s sight and she underwent a successful operation at The Park Hospital, Nottingham, to remove fluid from behind her eyes.
She took insulin daily but gradually the diabetes began to take its toll and she was told that her kidneys were failing, which was causing swelling in her body.
As a result she had dialysis, which dominated her life.
Her problems continued and when she suffered a collapsed lung she had to go into hospital to have an operation to allow dialysis to be carried out at home.
In the autumn she returned to hospital for a triple heart bypass, which was successful, but she then had an infection that affected her gall bladder and led to her suffering a stroke.
Mrs West was taken into intensive care at the City Hospital, where she died on December 1.
Despite her poor health, Mrs West had travelled to Newcastle to see Ben graduate from Newcastle University with a masters degree in mechanical engineering.
Mr West said: “By this time she couldn’t walk far so we had to plan everything carefully to ensure that she could make the day. It was very important to her that she was there.”
Mr West said his wife was a caring, fun-loving person.
“Her health problems gradually took over. She tried to fight it but the diabetes just caused too many problems,” he said.
She was buried, as she wished, in a wicker coffin at Tythe Green, Oxton, surrounded by bluebells and trees.
The idea for the bike ride in her memory came at a get-together of friends at Mr West’s home.
In 2002 some of the friends were among eight people who cycled a coast-to-coast route, raising £5,000 for the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance and St James’s Hospital, Liverpool.
The hospital was where Mr Michael Carby, of Normanton, had a successful liver transplant.
His brother, Mr Nigel Carby (47) of Station Road, Rolleston, was among the riders then, and he is again among the 15 who are planning to tackle Hadrian’s Cycleway that stretches the length of the wall, a distance of 174 miles.
Mr Carby’s wife, Mrs Jayne Carby (51) and their children, Hannah (18) and Tom (17) are also among the group, who set off on August 14 and hope to finish in five days.
The riders will be accompanied by a back-up crew of five.
They will start at Ravenglass and on the first day plan to ride 30 miles. The second day, there will a a 60-mile target.
After that, the group will aim for about 30 miles a day before finishing in Tynemouth.
The riders are in training and cycle in Derbyshire, Clumber Park or at Rutland Water most weekends on their mountain bikes.
At the end of each ride they meet for dinner, hosted by a member of the team, and make a donation to their charity fund.
A ceilidh in the village hall on Saturday raised £808 towards the target. It is hoped the rest of the money will come through sponsorship.
The group will also be tackling the 50-mile route in the Great Notts Bike Ride on June 22, and plan to take part in Newark Carnival.
As well as Mr West, his two sons, and the Carby family, the riders for the Hadrian’s Cycleway route are: Mr Adam Lloyd (55) his wife, Mrs Lynette Lloyd (49) and their daughter, Francesca (16) of Holly Court, Rolleston; Mr Doug Mirtle (55) and his son, Mr Steven Mirtle (26) of Staythorpe Road, Averham; Mr Paul Duffy (48) of Melbourne, Derbyshire; Mr Tim Lester (55) of Thornton Close, Bilsthorpe, and Mrs Penny Shaw (50) of Holly Court, Rolleston.
The back-up crew are: Mr Mick King (66) and his wife, Mrs Kay King (61) of Baines Avenue, Balderton; Mr Ross Thackrey (58) and his wife, Mrs Gill Thackrey (49) of Station Road, Rolleston; and Mrs Heather Mirtle of Staythorpe Road, Averham.
Mr West said: “Kathryn would have been very proud of the way that friends and family have got behind these causes.”
Donations can be made online at www.justgiving.com/route72rolleston