A dedicated family is taking on a 272-mile challenge - to honour Lundin Links man Henry Gibbon and raise money for charity at the same time.
Eleven family members and friends will travel to John O’ Groats on Saturday, July 19, to start the four-day cycle challenge, stopping at Dingwall, Newtonmore, and Perth before finishing at Henry’s home in Lundin Links.
Henry was diagnosed with Leimyosarcoma (LMS), a rare and very aggressive form of soft tissue sarcoma, in April 2012. Although he fought a long and courageous battle of surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy, he passed away in November 2013.
It was at the funeral, surrounded by family and friends who had all been inspired by his bravery and dignity, that the youngsters of the Gibbon family decided they wanted to do a charity cycle to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care, which cared for 4425 people with terminal cancer and other illnesses in Scotland last year.
Henry’s sister, Fiona Clarke, explained: “In the latter stages of Henry’s illness the support of the Marie Curie nurses was invaluable in acheiving his wish of dying at home.
“We don’t think we fully understood the role of this group of carers. It was only having experienced their work first hand that we feel we truly understand the role they play – in particular, allowing people like Henry to die at home with the comfort of their family around them.”
Training is already well under way, with family and friends – ranging in age from 17 - 67 – coming from all over Scotland to practise in Fife.
But the cycle is not the only fundraising event that the Gibbon clan has organised. Sadly, the family has lost three more family members to cancer – cousins Henry Gibbon, Robert Gibbon and Derek Gibbon – in recent years.
So not only is the cycle aiming to raise funds for Marie Curie, money has also been raised for Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Edinburgh & Lothians Health Support.
The family is aiming to collect £10,000 for the various charities, and the total currently stands at just over £7,400 with the cycle still to take place, as well as a charity night and a 16-day trek to Mount Everest.
As well as support from family and friends, the Gibbons have also had immense help from Anstruther Fish Bar and Curtis Motors in Cupar which have both donated prizes for a charity raffle to be held on July 26, while Cutis Motors is providing a van to take the group to its starting point in John O’Groats. There are also prizes from Gleneagles Hotel, Fairmount St Andrews, Ardross Farm Shop, and many more.
●To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Fiona-Clarke5/ or www.justgiving.com/teams/GibbonClan.