At one year old, Ivy Mai Geary has spent much of her short life in the Great Ormond Street Hospital with a rare bone marrow condition.
On Sunday, however, Mai was allowed out to visit a park near the hospital to spend an hour between treatments with her family.
She did not know it but at the same time she was enjoying a rare day out, Wortham man Mike Bowen joined 30,000 other riders in one of cycling’s big events of the year, the Prudential Ride London, to raise funds to support her family.
“It was a wonderful occasion, awesome, the whole weekend was brilliant,” Mr Bowen said afterwards.
Mr Bowen finished the 46 miles on the London-Surrey section of the event in 3hrs 46mins at an average speed of 12mph. It was two miles down on his usual training ride speed but in Suffolk he does not have to contend with the “hills” of the London flyovers and underpasses.
It was intimidating when younger riders going up the flyovers powered past him without changing down while he was going through the gears but back home in Union Lane the next day he was “feeling great, my legs and lungs are fine”.
Mr Bowen came to know of Ivy Mai’s condition through her great-grandmother, Eva Humphrey, and grandmother Valleri Ruthven, who both live in Diss. Since June, she has been at the Ormond Street hospital, undergoing chemotherapy treatment and a transplant operation.
“I have been touched by the plight of this family and wished publicly to raise its profile in a fundraiser to help cover the costs of the travel and special costs,” said Mr Bowen.
He was “overjoyed” to hear this week that her condition is improving, although she will have to be in hospital for another month.
There is still time to support his fundraising. Go to https://crowdfundingjustgiving.com/valleri-ruthven-1