An inspirational Grandad will be cycling 100 miles to raise money for a charity that supported his son and daughter-in-law while their son was seriously ill in hospital.
Simon Marchant, 70, from Suffolk, will be undertaking the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday 31 July, in a bid to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust, a charity that provides free support and ‘Home from Home’ accommodation to the families of sick children.
In January 2015, Simon’s two year old grandson Theo was diagnosed with aggressive cancer and has since been in and out of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) undergoing treatment. Theo’s parents Jeremy and Yvonne were able to stay just two minutes away from GOSH at The Sick Children’s Trust’s Guildford Street House, meaning they could be at Theo’s side at a moment’s notice.
Now Simon wants to ensure other families can benefit from the houses. He has been training hard for the 100 mile race, which follows the course of the 2012 Olympic 100 mile road race and passes the major sights of London as well as climbing Box Hill and Leith Hill. Simon, who completed two marathons and a triathlon in his thirties, says:
“When my son told me he would be racing to raise money for GOSH, I knew I also had to get involved. I saw first-hand the great difference being close to your child can make to their recovery, and this is possible because of The Sick Children’s Trust. The emotional support offered by the house is also invaluable, and makes an awful situation a little bit more bearable.
“The Sick Children’s Trust supports around 3,600 families each year in their ten “Homes from Home’ around the country. It costs the charity £30 per room, per night, to support a family whose child is in hospital, so it feels good to have already beaten my £1000 target.”
Simon’s wife, Jo, raised over £4000 by holding two garden tea parties as part of The Sick Children’s Trust ‘Big Chocolate Tea’ Campaign last year. Guilford Street House Manager, Tina Thake, says:
“It is inspiring to see how passionate Simon and Jo are about raising vital funds for The Sick Children’s Trust which will help support more families with sick children. It is amazing that at 70 Simon is taking on this challenge, and it is good to see that he has Jo fully behind him – she bought him a new bike and kit, and has been making flapjacks and rice cakes for him to eat while cycling. Good luck Simon!”
If you would like to support Simon, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/simonmarchant100miles.