CYCLISTS set off on the last stretch of a 700-mile fundraising mission to help a little boy from West Berkshire who has cancer.
Willem, aged four, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in May last year and has been receiving treatment at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.
Will’s immediate family, who have asked not to be identified, set about finding ways to help their son and, wanting to help, relative Philip Parry asked how fundraising could be best used.
After doctors said that the money should be directed towards Leukaemia Stem Cell Research, Mr Parry established Team Will LXX, which represents 70 in Roman numerals.
“We decided on trying to raise £70,000 as it would be an amount that was large enough to make a difference.
“I also liked the theme of 70 as it was my 70th birthday this year,” said Mr Parry, who lives in France and launched a Herculean charity drive to cycle from his home to the John Radcliffe.
More than 50 people joined him along the route, including family and friends of Will’s family.
They left the Dundas Arms in Kintbury for the final stretch of the journey on Good Friday.
Mr Parry said that the trip to Oxford had been amazing, with more than 40 riders of all ages showing their support.
Team Will LXX has raised more than £52,946, including through Gift Aid, and has hosted other fundraisers to help hit the target. More events planned are planned for this year.
Mr Parry said: “All involved with Team Will LXX have been bowled over by the support that has been given by well-over 50 people involved directly in fundraising or by people wanting to donate and support this very important area of research.
“It is worth stressing that without charitable donations this research could not take place.
“Our initiative has also encouraged a number of people involved with Team Will LXX to adopt a more healthy lifestyle for the benefit of all concerned.
“Maybe, just maybe, others who are new to cycling or want or need a reason to have a healthier lifestyle will use this event, or some other activity, to kick start the next part of their lives so that they and others can benefit from what they have achieved.”
For more visit www.teamwilllxx.com/ and to make a donation head to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/TeamWillLXX