Buxton pair complete epic 230 mile charity bike ride

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Two Buxton women have completed an epic 230 mile bike ride to raise money for a charity close to their hearts.

Lisa Blair and her mum Gill Godfrey set off from Vienna on September 25 and cycled through Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, finishing in Budapest four days later on September 29.

And their fantastic efforts have helped to raise thousands for the Kidneys for Life charity.

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Lisa’s son Rory, now aged 8, was born with posterior urethral valves, a condition which causes organ damage by preventing urine from draining normally. He underwent hours of dialysis a week, and had countless operations, tests and hospital stays due to infections before receiving a kidney transplant from his dad Stuart four years ago.

Lisa and Gill raised money for the Kidneys for Life charityLisa and Gill raised money for the Kidneys for Life charity
Lisa and Gill raised money for the Kidneys for Life charity

It is hoped Rory’s new kidney will last him for many years but he may face further transplants in the years to come so Lisa and the family have spent the last few years raising money and awareness of Kidneys for Life to thank the charity for all the support they have received.

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Lisa had initially signed up to cycle from Vietnam to Cambodia but covid restrictions led to multiple disruptions and the decision was made to switch the charity ride to Europe instead.

Speaking about the challenge, Lisa, 40, said: “I was nervous going into it but as it went on, it was fun. Some days there were some parts where it was just a long straight slog and you were like ‘is this bit ever going to end?’ but once you got past those bits and had some food you’d just carry on.

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"Everybody found the longest day the hardest. You had really long stretches and then at the end we had to ride through a storm. The heavens opened and we were soaked to the skin.

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"Crossing the finishing line was very emotional. We all just burst into tears and then were going round hugging each other."

Lisa and Gill were part of a team of 32 cyclists taking part in the challenge, the majority of whom were raising money for Kidneys for Life, so that shared bond helped to spur all the riders on.

"On the ride was one of Rory's transplant nurses and his transplant surgeon,” Lisa said. “There was other people there who had had transplants so you got to hear everyone’s stories and why they were riding and everyone shared stories so it was nice in that sense. It’s really comforting to know that people who have been through what Rory has been through are able to do the same challenge that I’ve just done – they’re not held back in life.”

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And Lisa was full of praise for her mum too. “My mum did absolutely amazing,” she said. “She’s 65 and right towards the end her bike broke so she had to go on a completely alien bike that she’d never ridden before. It had different tyres, different handlebars and then she had to ride through the city centre of Budapest so it was crazy but she did absolutely amazing.”

Lisa and Gill’s efforts have so far raised over £5,500 for Kidneys for Life, taking the total the family has collected for the charity to well over £15,000.

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And it seems fundraising runs in the family as Lisa’s eldest son Ewan decided he wanted to take part in a firewalk for the charity last weekend too, while both Rory and his younger brother Alec took on the Lego walk.

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