Matt Westcott, aka Wheezy Rider, will be taking part in our York 100 ride on Sunday, 16 August, in honour of his niece Jasmine. He tells us why he’s raising money in her memory…
I remember the phone call like it was yesterday. Jasmine had died. We were on holiday, the kids full of beans after a day out at Legoland. My wife and I enjoying a beer in a local pub. How do I tell her?
After minutes that seemed like hours, I decided to tell it how it was.
It was one of the toughest sentences I had had to utter.
You see not only was Jasmine just a few years into her life, she was also thousands of miles away in New Zealand.
My wife’s brother, his wife and their two girls had emigrated a year earlier. A life of adventure in one of the world’s most beautiful countries beckoned.
But not long after arriving Jasmine was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
She battled hard, defying doctors’ predictions, but in the end, the cancer was just too virulent.
She died in her mother’s arms.
Her father, inspired in part by her death, took up cycling and has since raised thousands for charity in his daughter’s name.
I followed suit, taking the road around a year ago, but the York 100 will be my first serious charitable event.
I know the 60-plus miles are well within my ability but there will be moments when I need to draw on my reserves and at those times I will think of Jasmine and also of those who might benefit from my small contribution.
If you need a reason to ride, maybe you too can think of her...