Stalham woman to cycle across Kenya for charity

A Stalham woman is to take part in a 300-mile cycle ride around Kenya to help raise money for a cause close to her heart.

Mandy Mayes, 45, is competing in the gruelling Women V Cancer race to help raise money for three cancer charities, Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust .

The race will see 80 women from across the UK cycling nearly 300 miles across Kenya from November 6-15 next year.

Mrs Mayes, 45, who has two sons, Lee, 25 and Martin, 22, and two step-children, Sarah, 27, and Danny, 25, believes she is the only woman in the county taking part in the cycle, for which she has to raise �2,800 in sponsorship funds.

She said: 'I wanted to do the bike ride as a personal challenge for myself and also because I know people who have fought cancer.

'This will be a personal challenge for me to see what I can do in that I have never been abroad on my own before, and also in raising all the money.'

Her sister Jackie Rodreugiuz, 49, who now lives in America, has fought ovarian cancer in the past, and their brother, Jimmy Griffiths, died the day after his 21st birthday, after being diagnosed with cancer when he was 16.

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Her friend Susan Smith, from Norwich and who is in her 50s, has also recently been diagnosed with cancer.

To help raise money for the ride, Mrs Mayes held an autumn ball earlier this month at the Sutton Staithe Hotel, selling out the 220 tickets for the event.

As well as a dinner and dance, the event included a raffle, with a range of prizes being donated including a hot air balloon ride and a mountain bike which her husband Steve, 52, brought and donated with from money left to him when his mother, Joy Pye, 73, who lived in Stalham, died. Mrs Mayes's sister Jackie also donated a Vera Wang handbag.

Mrs Mayes said: 'I was just amazed, when I first organised the ball I thought there was no way I was going to get anything to donate, but the response was just amazing.'

The ball helped her rise more than the �2,800 needed, with the last total count raised being �2, 863.88

But she plans to keep going and hopes to raise as much as she can, she is already planning a fundraising event for next July and in the meantime is raising money selling homemade cakes.

She is now busy building up her training practising riding with her husband who she says has been a great support.

The pair often go out on bike rides at weekends, and Mrs Mayes herself has been doing keep fit and aerobics classes in a bid to build up her stamina.