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‘I didn’t want mum’s death to be in vain’
A KNUTSFORD cyclist has pledged to raise £100,000 as part of a charity challenge to honour his mum’s memory.
Mike Bradley’s mum Barbara died on January 2 at the age of 79 after a long battle with oral cancer.
The Cranford Square resident wants to raise the huge sum for Macmillan Cancer Support to help other families who are going through similar experiences.
Barbara was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, but fought off the disease in 2008 and 2010 before losing her battle at the beginning of this year.
“I didn’t want my mum’s death to be in vain,” said Mike.
“She was suffering for years, and it was really painful to watch. I held her hand most days up until the day she died.
“I thought the best way to mark her life would be to make other people’s lives better.”
Mike, 51, wants to raise £100,000 to mark the fact that more than 100,000 people are diagnosed with head and neck cancer in Europe every year.
The focal point of his Barbara’s Legacy campaign will be a bike ride along the entire length of the Cote d’Azur from Basilica St Michel in Menton to the Avenue de General de Gaulle in Toulon in July 2014.
Mike said: “I’m a keen mountain bike rider and my mum always asked me where I’d been and what I was riding.
“I spend a lot of time in the South of France, and she said she wanted to come with us one day before events overtook us.”
When Mike and his partner Vanessa stumbled across the statue of Saint Barbara in Eze Village in August he knew he was on to something.
He said: “I just thought this is so bizarre.
“The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end.
“Vanessa said to me this is meant to be for your mum.”
Mike has some high profile support including Gary Owen, former Manchester City and England under-21s midfielder, and Graeme Obree, Cycling World Hour record-holder.
He said: “It’s heartening beyond belief that these kind of people have faith in you.”
Mike has a busy year of fundraising ahead of him and is appealing for help.
He said: “I know it will be hard work but everyone’s been really encouraging so far.
“I’d love Knutsford businesses and those in the surrounding area to take this on board.
“If 100 firms gave £1,000 each I’ll get the £100,000 in no time.”
For more information on Mike’s campaign, or if you would like to to make a donation, visit barbaraslegacy.