Hatfield woman cycling to Paris in memory of mum

WHEN 52-year-old Alison Grace was suddenly diagnosed with an untreatable cancer last year, her daughter, Julie, decided she would cycle to Paris to raise funds for charity.

The two were due to meet under the Eiffel Tower, but time was not on their side for only a month after the original diagnosis, Alison died.

Now Julie, 28, will take on the 300-mile challenge to raise cash for charity Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of her mum and has already received the backing of Little Britain star David Walliams.

The Hatfield woman said: “My mum had just turned 52 a week after being told that not only did she have cancer, but that there was nothing anyone could do.

“I was with her when she was diagnosed and as much as possible from that point on.

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“I tried to put milestones for her to focus on, so I made her the promise that I would cycle to Paris for Macmillan in 2010 and the aim was that she would be waiting for me as I cycled the last stretch up to the Eiffel Tower.

“Neither of us knew that time was extremely against us at that point. Macmillan were very much involved and the nurses were exceptional.

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“So, I am doing the ride in her memory, to help others and also to thank Macmillan for the support they gave us.”

She is hoping to raise �2,500 and her biggest donation so far has been �200 from the actor and comedian David Walliams, who decided to sponsor her after the family wrote to him seeing if he could meet her mum.

But she died before a visit could be arranged.

Julie, a marketing executive at Hertfordshire Sports Village, has been busy training in the run up to the event, which starts on August 18 – the day before the first anniversary of her mum’s death.

She teaches spinning classes at the sports village five times a week, goes running once a week and attends a weekly weights and conditioning class.

She said: “I just love cycling – whether that is challenging myself and others in a spinning class or just being out on the road.

“I also love the challenge of a huge hill climb especially when we are out and about in the Peak District.

“I’ve never done anything like this before and the thing I’m worried about most is becoming saddle sore.”

To donate visit www.justgiving.co.uk/Julie-Grace

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