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Mum's 217 mile challenge to mark end of son's cancer treatment

Jacob with mum Paula Howarth back in 2013
Jacob with mum Paula Howarth back in 2013

A group of women are taking on the Welsh coast to coast mountain bike trails to raise money for the charities Candlelighters, The Sick Children’s Trust and Neuroblastoma UK.

Paula Haworth, from Hebden Bridge, will be joined by Molly Heitz, Sue Oxley, Joanne Thomas and Polly Murray in taking on the challenge which will see them travel 217 miles across some of Wales’ finest trails running from the coastline at Conway to the coastline below Port Talbot.

The inspiration for the challenge is Paula’s son Jacob, who was diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma cancer at the age of 15 months in 2012.

Paula said: “Neuroblastoma is a rare childhood cancer which is very difficult to successfully treat with survival rates of children five years out of treatment making for grim reading.

“Those children that do survive both the treatment and the cancer itself often go on with their lives faced with complicated medical and psychological issues.”

Jacob went through 18 months of chemotherapy, tumour resection, high dose chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, radiotherapy and immunotherapy.

This summer marks the five year anniversary of the end of Jacob’s treatment and to mark the occasion Paula wanted to do something significant.

She said: “The challenge is not intended to be unassisted, we do have our limits!

“We will welcome and positively encourage friends and family, sponsors, other cycling enthusiasts to help us along with this challenge.”

The team of five will tackle the challenge, which is said to be one of the hardest in the UK, and includes 7,880m of climbing and visits seven trail centres along the way.

So far the team has raised more than £2,500 for their three chosen charities and anyone who would like to donate can visit the fundraising page here