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23-year-old former leukaemia patient Brooke Evans from Droitwich, Worcestershire has signed up to ride both the 42-mile route of the Velo Birmingham & Midlands on Sunday May 12th (which is International Nurses Day) and Cure Leukaemia’s 300-mile London 2 Paris ride from 12-15 September.
Brooke was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) five years ago and received treatment in the Young Persons Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Thanks to a clinical drugs trial, made available thanks to funds raised for Cure Leukaemia, Brooke went into remission and restarted her education.
She studied a nursing degree at the University of Worcester in 2015 and during her training she went on placement at the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS trust and also travelled to Tanzania to work in the paediatric oncology ward at Muhimbili National Hospital, an experience she described as the best of her life.
After graduating from University, Brooke started her career as a haematology nurse on ward 625 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in October 2018, in the same building and floor where she received life-saving treatment five years previously.
It was while receiving treatment in 2014 that she first met Cure Leukaemia and began to share her story to raise awareness of the disease. From that moment on she has been a committed supporter of Cure Leukaemia raising thousands of pounds, promoting campaigns, racing Porsches, running half marathons and inspiring others to raise funds for the charity that helped save her life.
This year Brooke wanted a new challenge and after seeing two fellow leukaemia patients, Jenna Ostrowski and Mark Nicholas, complete London 2 Paris in 2018 she decided to give cycling a go, the only issue was, she did not have a bike.
That’s when official partner of Velo Birmingham & Midlands, Ribble Cycles, stepped in – very generously donating a brand-new, hand-built Endurance AL road bike to Brooke for her training and both major cycling events. Now all set for her challenge, Brooke is keen to encourage other cyclists to join her in the Cure Leukaemia team for the 42-mile Velo Birmingham & Midlands (email email@example.com to sign up) and the 300-mile London 2 Paris ride (sign up at www.l2prevolution.com):
She said: “I am so excited to be taking part in these events and I am truly staggered at how generous Ribble Cycles have been in giving me a bike! I am doing these events because Cure Leukaemia is a charity that means so much to me and I can’t wait to raise funds and awareness during 2019.
“I really hope this inspires others to take part in both events, there’s still time to join me in Cure Leukaemia team for the 42-mile Velo Birmingham & Midlands which I’ve heard takes place on International Nurses Day so it couldn’t be more fitting really!
CEO of Ribble Cycles, Andy Smallwood said:
“Brooke’s story is simply amazing and we are delighted to be able to help her achieve her cycling goals for Cure Leukaemia this year. I hope that her story inspires other beginner cyclists to take up the sport and give the 42-mile Velo Birmingham & Midlands event a go in May.
“British Cycling have launched a campaign to encourage 1 million new female cyclists onto the road by 2020 and I would suggest that Brooke is most certainly #OneInAMillion! I look forward to hopefully training with Brooke in the coming weeks and offering as much advice as possible ahead of May 12th.”
Former England, Wolves, Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest footballer, leukaemia survivor and Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff Thomas will also be cycling the 42-mile route on May 12th and seeing Brooke pick up her bike this week brought back some memories for him too:
“It’s a fantastic gesture from Ribble. they are a company with such a great history and are really making an impact on the industry right now. This takes me back to the day I got a bike for my first big challenge, it’s so exciting, you feel like a little kid again! Brooke’s taking on some big challenges this year, her story is simply amazing and this is her next chapter.”