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Dad of Callum Doe to ride 400 miles from Wales to Lowestoft for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices

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A bereaved dad from Diss is preparing for an epic 400-mile bike ride to raise funds for the children’s hospice that cared for his son.

Ian Doe, from Willbye Avenue, is taking on a gruelling four-day ‘West to East’ journey from St Davids in Wales, to Ness Point in Lowestoft.

He is raising funds for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (Each), which cared for his son, Callum, after he was diagnosed with an aggressive grade four brain tumour on Christmas Eve in 2018.

Mr Doe will be riding 400 miles from Wales to Lowestoft. Picture: EACH (56642536)
Mr Doe will be riding 400 miles from Wales to Lowestoft. Picture: EACH (56642536)

The 13-year-old had an operation to remove as much of it as safely possible, in addition to two rounds of radiotherapy, but died at The Nook, Each’s hospice in Framlingham Earl, in August 2020.

Mr Doe, who, along with his wife, Michelle, continues to receive bereavement counselling, is now preparing for a monster bike ride as a way of saying thank you to the hospice.

Ian Doe (right) with his son, Callum. Picture: EACH (56642532)
Ian Doe (right) with his son, Callum. Picture: EACH (56642532)

“It’s going to be a huge challenge but I’m excited and looking forward to it,” said the 51-year-old.

“It’ll be nice seeing different parts of the country and meeting the new people I’ll be cycling alongside.

“I’ll be part of a small group from Dunx Cycles, in Lowestoft, who have organised the event. It’s a fully supported ride and, hopefully, there will be lots of time to chat.

“I’m a keen cyclist and have done 70 miles in a day, followed by 50 or 60, however, I’ve never done anything on this scale before.

“It’s good having something to focus on and I’ve always wanted to do something special for Each. Hopefully, the money I raise will help to make a difference.

“It’s a way of saying thank you for the care and support we received, as a family.”

Mr Doe’s journey begins in St Davids, in Pembrokeshire, on May 24. The group will then ride across the country, largely staying off the beaten track, with overnight stops scheduled in the Carmarthenshire town of Llandovery, Evesham in Worcestershire, and St Neots in Cambridgeshire, before arriving in Lowestoft on May 28.

It promises to be a huge physical challenge but also an emotional one for Mr Doe, given his connection to the cause he is supporting.

“As a family, we stayed at the hospice on two occasions – firstly for a week and then for a fortnight, until Callum died.

“Michelle and I would go for little walks around the grounds and, when we got back, the fridge in our room would be stocked with food and drink.

“I remember once asking someone for some washing-up liquid and a dishcloth, after having a meal at The Nook. I was told off and, in no uncertain terms, albeit in the nicest possible way, told to send our dirty plates and cutlery back to the kitchen.

“It was little moments like this that made such a difference.”

Michelle previously took on a special fundraising challenge of her own, raising £2,119 after jogging and walking a virtual 874 miles from Land’s End to John O’ Groats.

The 48-year-old was invited back to The Nook in October to meet visiting North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker.

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