Ripley man joins bike ride for young cancer survivors’ sailing charity

Tom Roberts, a 26-year-old cancer survivor from Ripley, is taking on the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Charity Cycle Challenge to raise money for the charity which helped him in recovery.
Tom Roberts, a 26-year-old cancer survivor from Ripley, is taking on the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Charity Cycle Challenge to raise money for the charity which helped him in recovery.

A cancer survivor from Ripley will take on a fundraising cycling challenge tomorrow for a charity which helped him recover and rebuild his life.

Tom Roberts, 26, feared he would never walk again when he was diagnosed with bone cancer in his early teens which threatened to permanently damage his spinal cord.

But now he is taking on the inaugural Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Charity Cycle Challenge, and riding 81.4 kilometres from Grindleford to Nottingham.

The trust was set up by the record-breaking round-the-world yachtswoman Ellen to help young cancer patients readjust to normal life again by going on sailing holidays.

Tom, who took his first sailing trip aged 17, said: “The trust massively accelerated my confidence, meeting other people who had been through similar situations showed me that I could push myself and look beyond the dark times.

Tom has been involved with the charity ever since as he wanted to help inspire and share young people’s stories as a filmmaker.

He said: “I went back as a volunteer to help people who have been through my situation on their first trip, to see it from the other side is amazing as you get to make the difference that was given to you.

“I want to help the trust raise awareness so more young people can receive the vital support they need during their recovery.”

The cycle challenge will see a team of 11 riders travel between the charity’s two bases in Largs, on Scotland’s west coast, and Cowes on the Isle of Wight, in just 10 days.

Supporting cyclists like Tom will join them on each leg of the journey.

In Nottingham, the riders will stop at the Queen’s Medical Centre, which is a significant place for Tom as it’s where he underwent treatment.

There they will meet young people currently going through cancer treatment who might soon take to the seas with the trust, which has helped more than 2,230 budding sailors since 2003.

To support Tom and his fellow riders at https://bit.ly/2DW7G1d.