EMBARKING upon a 940-mile cycle ride might be a challenge for most, but for Laura Sanders, a quick glance down at her bike was all the motivation she needed.
Miss Sanders, a junior sister at the John Radcliffe Hospital, was part of a team of four amateur cyclists who used their pedal power to trek across the country in just 10 days.
The team – including a nurse, paramedic and a carpenter who all used two weeks of their annual leave for the adventure – cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End and have now raised £7,800 for Cancer Research UK and Maternal Childhealth Advocacy International (MCAI).
Cancer Research UK was particularly close to Miss Sanders’ heart after she lost two grandparents, Michael Sanders and Gilbert Cailes, as well as family friend Vikki Lewis to the condition.
The 24-year-old placed pictures of all three on her bike’s frame to inspire her when the journey got tough and she was close to admitting defeat.
She said: “I thought I can’t give up. If they did not give up in their lives, then I can’t give up on this bike ride. They never gave up so what right do I have to give up?”
Miss Sanders is a junior sister in the JR’s emergency assessment unit. She was joined by friends Louise Kibbey, a fellow JR junior sister, paramedic Dudley Mobbs and carpenter Jonathan Wilks. on the cycle with Roxy Williams acting as their support driver.
Miss Kibbey and Mr Mobbs, both from Abingdon, decided to cycle for MCAI, a medical charity supporting seriously ill babies, children and pregnant women.
Miss Kibbey said: “MCAI are a charity that the Emergency Department have been linked with for many years and therefore it seemed an obvious choice for us.
“They are a small charity that will benefit greatly from the money we are able to raise.”
The team set off from John O’Groats at 7.30am on Monday, June 2 and reached Land’s End at 6.30pm on Wednesday, June 11.
Since then they have been counting up their sponsorship and are still collecting donations.
Miss Sanders, of Carterton, said: “For all of us we said that it was the hardest thing we had ever done in our lives. Several times we felt like we could have given up but we knew that we couldn’t so we got back on our bikes and carried on.
“It was a great thing for us to do. The fact that we completed it and did it in that time makes it all worthwhile.
“We were all saying it all does not seem real that we have done it because it all consumed so much of our lives but there was no better feeling of how we felt when we crossed the finished line in Land’s End.”
The team were greeted by party horns, cheering and champagne when they completed their journey.
Miss Sanders’s grandmother Margaret said: “I feel immensely proud of her. They put so much work into it and they did it in the time they said they would do it.
“It’s marvellous what these young people are prepared to do and I think each generation contributes so much to life.”
If people want to donate to any of the four, go to justgiving.com and search their names
justgiving.com/JOGLE2014Laura (Laura Sanders)
justgiving.com/Louise-Kibbey (Louise Kibbey)
justgiving.com/D-Mobbs (Dudley Mobbs)
justgiving.com/jonathan-wilks (Jonathan Wilks)