Wirral Friends Cycle Through South East Asia To Raise £7k For Cancer Research

TWO women have completed a 400 km cycle through Vietnam and Cambodia to raise more than £7,000 for charity North West Cancer Research.Julie Smith and Joanne Masterman from Wirral have now returned from the six-day challenge which saw them cycle through Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City to the ancient temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.The friends who work together at Wirral Metropolitan College raised funds for the charity through various activities such as an auction of promises and raffles, with the majority of the total being raised through donations from Wirral Lions Club and also via their Just Giving pages.A keen cyclist, 55 year-old Julie heard about the challenge which is organised by Global Adventure Challenges, through a friend and she soon enlisted the support of 46-year old colleague Joanne Masterman.Together they put in over eight months’ worth of training, cycling every weekend around Wirral, Liverpool and North Wales, till eventually they were ready to ride an average of 66 km a day on their trip.Julie who lives in Spital, said: “This was probably the biggest challenge either of us has ever completed and achieved – it’s most definitely the furthest we’ve ever been away from home and family. We were very supportive of each other and really enjoyed the cycling challenge.“We would wake up every day at 5.30am, have breakfast at 6am, and be ready to set off by 7am until around 7pm in the evening. Although we did lots of training beforehand, nothing could have prepared us for how difficult it was to cycle in the heat – so lots of water and rest stops were needed, throughout the day.“Vietnam and Cambodia are both beautiful countries, the local people were so welcoming. The crew from Global Adventures were fantastic and we met some lovely people, many of whom were also on their own fundraising challenges.“We feel very privileged to have raised more than 7,000 for North West Cancer Research. We decided on this charity as it was named as Wirral Met’s charity of the year. We went on a tour of one of its research labs in Liverpool, which showed us just how important fund raising is, to support the research they do.”The money raised by Julie and Jo will go on to fund life-saving cancer research projects in the region. North West Cancer Research will fund £13 million worth of cancer research over the next five years at the University of Liverpool, Bangor University and Lancaster University.Projects the money will support include; the use of proton beam therapies in head and neck cancer treatments, developing effective skin cancer drugs and a first ever clinical trial for patients with bile duct cancer in partnership with researchers and clinicians across Merseyside.Bobby Magee, fundraising manager North West Cancer Research said: “On behalf of the charity I would like to thank Julie and Joanne for helping raise this fantastic amount of money. With their support we will be able to continue to fund cancer research projects which will make a real impact locally.”