Letchworth woman’s fundraising efforts take her from London to Brighton

PUBLISHED: 10:39 11 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:45 11 October 2018

Michelle and Claire completed the 55-mile cycle challenge for Breast Cancer Care and Garden House Hospice Care. Picture: Courtesy of Michelle Harper-Thomas

Michelle and Claire completed the 55-mile cycle challenge for Breast Cancer Care and Garden House Hospice Care. Picture: Courtesy of Michelle Harper-Thomas

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A Letchworth woman has taken part in a London to Brighton cycle to raise money for Breast Cancer Care after her wife’s diagnosis.

Michelle crossing the finish line in Brighton. Picture: Courtesy of Michelle Harper-ThomasMichelle crossing the finish line in Brighton. Picture: Courtesy of Michelle Harper-Thomas

Michelle Harper-Thomas and friend Claire Schultz took on the challenge for two causes close to their hearts.

Michelle told the Comet: “Louise and I honeymooned after the wedding and two weeks after we returned Louise was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer which had breached the lymph nodes.

“This came as a huge blow particularly as I previously had cervical cancer myself resulting in extensive surgery and treatment.

“Since her diagnosis Lou has struggled with the treatment – particularly the chemotherapy – and even ended up in critical care with sepsis.

Michelle and Louise on their honeymoon just weeks before the diagnosis. Picture: Courtesy of Michelle Harper-ThomasMichelle and Louise on their honeymoon just weeks before the diagnosis. Picture: Courtesy of Michelle Harper-Thomas

“Lou has suffered and is still suffering from a lot of side effects of the chemo and struggling to cope as a result. She is unable to continue her job as a post lady with Royal Mail and is currently unemployed.

“As a coping mechanism for myself I got involved with fundraising to try to help the breast cancer charities and therefore help others in a similar situation to the one we found ourselves in.”

In May this year Michelle took on the London Moonwalk. She took part in the 26-mile trek starting at midnight in fancy dress.

She said: “I made two mistakes doing this: I was on my own and I chose to wear a fancy dress costume which was heavy and very cumbersome

Michelle also took part in the London Moonwalk earlier this year. Picture: Courtesy of Michelle Harper-ThomasMichelle also took part in the London Moonwalk earlier this year. Picture: Courtesy of Michelle Harper-Thomas

“However, I did it and Lou met me at the finish the next morning which was fabulous and very emotional! I was extremely glad I had done it but can say it was one of the hardest challenges I have ever undertaken – I found it much harder than the London to Brighton Cycle.”

The London Moonwalk raised £1,100 for United Against Breast Cancer.

Friend Claire joined Michelle in her next challenge, and raised money for Garden House Hospice Care, in memory of her grandmother

Michelle added; “We are not cyclists normally and did a bit of training beforehand. We stopped only a few times, mostly on the hills – our aim next year is to complete it cycling all the way.

“Lou would have liked to have to come Brighton but wasn’t well enough at the time. She did send a message to all of us saying how proud she was – a very emotional moment for me.”

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