Olveston teen Poppy Thompson cycles 1,200km to Switzerland in memory of late grandmother and great grandmother
WHILST most teenagers celebrated the end of their GCSEs with a relaxing and challenge-free summer, a 16-year-old from Olveston hopped on her bike and cycled 1,200km to Switzerland raising nearly £12,700 for a cause close to her heart.
Poppy Thompson and her cousin Edward Botsford, 18, from Shepton Mallet completed the bumpy ride from Bristol to Berne in just ten days for charity Penny Brohn Cancer Care.
Poppy's grandmother and great grandmother have both died of cancer in the last ten years. Two of her remaining grandparents have also been fighting the disease for most of the past decade.
"Cancer has been affecting my family for over ten years," Poppy said. "I have seen at firsthand what it is like to live with cancer and also sadly to die from cancer. But I have also seen what it is to live well with cancer and not let cancer be the master.
"We chose to support Penny Brohn Cancer Care as the help they give is not specific to any particular cancer and perhaps not as well known as some of the big cancer charities but its work is just as important and really makes a difference, especially helping people to live well with their cancer diagnosis."
But the journey was far from smooth as they encountered their first major technical hiccup - a puncture, split tyre and bent wheel, all at once - just five miles after waving their family and friends goodbye.
Thankfully this was the only issue of the trip and the pair continued their journey through France, negotiating the roads in the outer suburbs of Paris, before climbing the hills as they reached the Alps.
The arduous bike ride often took its toll on the student and her cousin but the pair, who aimed to collect £3,000, were spurred on by the donations which continued to pour in and reached a staggering £12,692 by the end of the challenge.
"The daily routine of a tough ride was not always fun," added Poppy. "Nevertheless, totally worthwhile when we thought of the ever increasing donations. "I have finally realised my dream, and it was definitely worth it."
There is still time to sponsor Poppy and Edward by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/Poppy-Thompson
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