Kate Turner, 46, from Chapel Allerton in Leeds, has been cycling virtually from Leeds to Lands End to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Care throughout June.
Her family of five, husband Andy, Poppy, 12, and Lily, 9, who both have Cystic Fibrosis and son Arthur, 14 who does not have the condition, have been shielding for 12 weeks and not going out at all in order to minimise risk of exposure to coronavirus because the girls are clinically extremely vulnerable.
Kate who normally works part-time invigilating GCSEs at a secondary school, and her husband, who works in the Geography Department at the University of Leeds, have been relying on friends and family to bring them essential medicine supplies and groceries to their door. With Andy working from home the lockdown has been tough on them all.
Poppy was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis with the heel prick test and Lily had a blocked bowel at birth, meaning that Kate knew straight away that she also had the disease.
Kate began her virtual cycle challenge at the start of June as a means to get fit and help her through the mental health difficulties of another month of lockdown isolation, whilst at the same time raising money for a charity very close to her heart. She cycles approximately 30km a day on her turbo trainer and plans on completing 655km by 28 June, aiming to raise £3000 for the charity for their COVID-19 hardship grants.
Kate said: “I received a lovely letter from Cystic Fibrosis Care which detailed their immediate response to COVID-19 and how they have supported families and patients with grants for those who have experienced hardship during the pandemic.”
“It inspired me to take my ‘magical bicycle tour.’ Virtually, along the way I hook up with friends and family. I just work out the distance I need to cycle from my house in Leeds to theirs then arrive virtually on my bike to their homes. It’s been a great way to connect on Zoom. I’m hoping to have a big zoom party at the end of June when I reach the tip of Lands End and raise a glass and say thank you to all my generous supporters, to Cystic Fibrosis Care and to everyone who has supported our family along the way.”
The hardship grants are supporting Cystic Fibrosis patients who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 with travel grants for hospital trips and psychological support, plugging the gap in the delay of benefit payments and providing washable anti-bacterial masks for free.
Kate said, “I am impressed that the Cystic Fibrosis Care hardship grants are providing instant and direct support, immediately where it is needed most, particularly the funding of psychological support.”
Kate added: “The girls find it hard not to be in touch with friends and lockdown has felt a very long time; it’s been worrying and a difficult time. Our girls are our primary concern. We haven’t had any reassurance yet that coming out of lockdown will be safe for them. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions, so it’s been brilliant to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Care and have something positive to focus on.”
Kate and Andy normally take their girls to the Leeds Teaching Hospital’s Leeds Children’s Hospital every six weeks for check- ups, but the last two check -ups have been done on the telephone. Kate says the hospital is really supportive and thankfully the girls are doing well.
To support Katie’s virtual cycle challenge, go to Justgiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/katesmagicalbicycle
The Director of Cystic Fibrosis Care, Pat Kilpatrick has said ‘it’s not too late to get involved in our Virtual Cycle Challenge Day on 28th June. We haven’t reached our target yet and you can help by getting involved and raising money for our emergency hardship grants.’
Join Kate and many others on 28th June, Virtual Cycle Challenge Day, find out more on social media using #Cycle4CF (@CF_Care for Twitter and Instagram) and make your ‘entry fee’ donation here: www.justgiving.com/campaign/CFCareCycleChallenge
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