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Princess Alexia Fund Ride raises thousands for Hospital

The Princess Alexia Fund Charity Ride on the late May Bank Holiday weekend was the most successful yet and the total amount of money now raised for the Children’s Hospital charity is approaching £30,000. 

Loving parents Gaz McArthur and Jade Ellerby organise the 100 mile ride from Sheffield Children’s Hospital to the east coast at Ingoldmells to remember their daughter Alexia-Leigh and raise funds for the hospital’s charity.

Four-year-old Alexia-Leigh was taken ill in 2013 and diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Despite the great care of experts at Sheffield Children’s Hospital she sadly died of meningitis just days later.

This year was the third annual Ride and it was the largest yet with 23 riders all given a special send off by Giro D’Italia-Vuelta a España double winner Giovanni Battaglin and Planet X owner Dave Loughran early on Saturday morning.

Leaving Sheffield together, the riders ride their own pace eastwards towards Skegness before a final regrouping to ride into Ingoldmells together.

“There were a few mishaps along the way,” explained Gaz. “A few riders were suffering from cramp and after only two miles and someone’s pedal managed to come off as well, but we all finished together again which is a great feeling.” 

Along the 100 mile route they also regroup for water and feed stops. Whilst Gaz is one the road with the other riders, Jade helps provides the road and food support for the ride along with both of their fathers. A support van carries spares as well as water and food like pasta and flapjack made by Jade and her mother and sister.

The riders get a royal welcome by the Moody Cow pub in Ingoldmells every year. The Fire Brigade send an engine to the pub to entertain those not riding and once the riders are in the pubs holds a big raffle before a buffet and disco which goes on into the early hours.

“The pub raises money for the fund, they’re really good,” says Jade, “and it’s amazing what people give us there and along the way. People just stop us and give us money. The pub also collects raffle prizes, provide the food and raise money themselves for the charity which is great.”

“Each year the ride gets bigger and bigger,” Gaz says, “so we’ll carry on organising it over the same route because everyone really looks forward to it and the pub is so hospitable.” 

Cheryl Davidson, community fundraiser at The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Jade and Gaz are inspirational, having turned this terrible tragedy into something positive. Their determination to fundraise means our charity can fund research into leukaemia, so other children have a chance at a happy and healthy life. It is testament to the two of them that so many family members, friends and members of the Rotherham community have rallied behind them and the Princess Alexia fund.”

Please Donate
To donate money to the Fund please go to the Princess Alexia Fund Just Giving page here

7 June 2016

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