Stevenage woman takes on epic challenge in loved one’s memory

A 46-YEAR-OLD woman is setting off on a 1,360-mile bike ride on Tuesday to raise money for charity in memory of her mother-in-law.

Stevenage resident Annie Byrne is taking on the challenge to raise money for Lister Hospital, following the death of her mother-in-law, Maureen Spurgeon, who lost her battle with ovarian cancer in 2007.

Annie aims to cycle around the 21 steam railways in Great Britain within one month, taking her to Kent, Sussex, the Isle of Wight, Hampshire, Cornwall, Somerset, Wales, Shropshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

She hopes to raise at least �2,000, in order to buy a recliner chair for the gynaecology ward at Lister.

Annie said: “Our family absolutely love steam trains, especially my mother-in-law, Maureen. She used to take her youngest son and my daughter to visit steam railway stations in England; it was her real passion.

“I couldn’t think of a better way of paying tribute to her personal strength and dignity, than going to the stations she loved to visit when she was alive and, at the same time, raising money for ovarian cancer treatment to help other women going through what she had to.

“The ride is a big heartfelt thank you to all the staff at Lister Hospital who helped her and us through a very difficult time. Maureen was such a positive and inspiring person, we miss her very much.”

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To sponsor Annie, visit or call Rebecca Cheesman at Lister’s fundraising office on 01438 781682.