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Pedal power in memory of father

By Josh Clarke

Jonathan Radford, 16, of Bingham, will cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats
Jonathan Radford, 16, of Bingham, will cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats

A teenager whose father died from a rare form of cancer is preparing for a 1,000-mile charity bike ride in his memory.

Jonathan Radford, 16, of Bingham, will cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats over two weeks, covering around 72 miles per day.

His father, Mr Andrew Radford, died in March after fighting sarcomas for three years.

Jonathan said: "Initially, I was nervous, but now it is exciting as I know I can complete the distance, especially with friends and family to support me along the way.

"As a personal challenge, I do not want to walk any of the route, not even the hills.

"The first thought about doing the ride was brought up on the day I lost my dad, which has spurred me on to complete the challenge — to help others to not have to go through what I have."

He will be tackling the ride with his cousin, Jenny Woodward, her boyfriend, Josh Smith, and Wendy Woodward, Mr Radford’s sister-in-law, from Sunday, August 5.

They want to raise £10 per mile — £10,000 — for Sarcoma UK, a charity that researches the cause of the rare cancer and runs a helpline.

Jonathan’s mother, Susan, said: "Sarcoma is an awful form of cancer that seems to affect particularly healthy people.

"Because it is not as well-known, sarcoma cancer research does not get the help from some of the bigger cancer charities that others do. So, as a family, we would like to raise as much as possible to hopefully stop other families suffering."

Mr Radford, a chartered surveyor, who had his own business, Swordfish Properties Ltd, continued to work throughout his illness, but eventually lost his fight after cancer spread to his brain.

Mrs Radford said: "Andrew continued to always put his family before anything else, making sure we can keep our promise to him to continue to live life and not just survive, and that our children are well provided before," Susan said.

"That meant he worked through the whole time of his illness, including dictating emails to me when he came round after his first operation."

Mr Radford died in the middle of Jonathan’s mock GCSE exams, but the teenager passed them and went on to get 11 good GCSE grades.

He is now studying A-level physics, maths, and product design at Toot Hill School, Bingham.

To prepare for the challenge, Jonathan has cycled to college every day since September and completes more than 100 miles on his bike every weekend.

He joined the Vale of Belvoir Cycling Club, which has organised a fundraising butterfly cycle ride, featuring four distances of around 25 miles, on Sunday, July 15. Proceeds will also go to Sarcoma UK.

To make a donation to Jonathan’s ride, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andyd-radford


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