They’re on their bikes for charity

Joan McGregor & Lesley Simpson, who are doing a sponsored cycle ride for charity from Vietnam to Cambodia
Joan McGregor & Lesley Simpson, who are doing a sponsored cycle ride for charity from Vietnam to Cambodia

TWO Fife women are set to pedal their way from Vietnam to Cambodia to raise funds for two charities close to their hearts.

Lesley Simpson and Joan McGregor are taking part in a Charity Challenge 450km cycle ride over nine days from January 17, 2013. Lesley (50) is raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care while Joan (49) is collecting funds for the Cardiomyopathy Association.

Lesley, who stays in Kirkcaldy and is a nursing auxiliary at the children’s ward in Victoria Hospital, is doing the cycle ride in memory of her mum who passed away from cancer two years ago. She said: “I had promised my mum she would not go into the hospice and that I would look after her. She needed more pain control and I was helped by the Marie Curie nurses. They looked after my mum and I wanted to do this so I could give something back to them. My mum gave to me all her life and this is my turn to do something for her and people like her.”

Joan, who lives in Glenrothes and is director of Fairfield Care, said her reasons for doing it were two fold - she wanted to do something special to mark her 50th birthday next year but also wanted to raise money for cardiomyopathy at the same time. She said: “When I am in my 80s I want to be able to look back and say that I did something which was a real achievement and I thought this was ideal.

“My son has Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It’s the most severe kind of cardiomyopathy and one of the biggest killers of people under the age of 35.

“He is at very high risk of cardiac arrest and has had an internal defibrilator fitted. It was picked up when he did a fitness test at the age of 16, otherwise the condition would have gone undiagnosed. There were no signs of it before this. He arrested on the football pitch in May and he knew the defibrillator had gone off (to kickstart his heart) so it was a good job it had been fitted. It saved his life. The Cardiomyopathy Association supports research into the condition, helps families and gives advice and support to young people with the disease and helps them come to terms with it. That is why I want to raise awareness of the association as well as raising money for it.”

Lesley and Joan have already collected a lot of sponsorship for the trip and are set to give the coffers a boost through a fundraising evening in Kirkcaldy Rugby Club on Saturday, November 24. The ‘Fat Bottomed Girls Charity Night’ will feature a disco-karaoke, raffles and a buffet. The event has sold out and the girls will split the proceeds between them for each of their chosen charities. Lesley and Joan both thanked the Rugby Club for supporting them.

To make a donation to either charity please visit or