Brave dad takes on epic ride

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A dad who had to cancel a fundraising cycle ride when he developed cancer is getting back on his bike to collect money for a city charity.

Stephen Travers, aged 54, is riding from Dronfield to Monte Carlo alongside his two teenage sons Sam and Joe, both 19, in aid of Cavendish Cancer Care.

The trio are taking on the challenge across Europe without any supporting vehicles, relying on themselves, their bikes and camping gear.

Three years ago, the family were preparing to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats when Stephen fell ill with a sore throat.

Medical tests found his symptoms were non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and the event had to be cancelled.

A year later, the trio completed the ride in just 20 days - but Stephen said the elation he should have felt was missing.

“It was a fantastic thing to do, something I’d wanted to do all my life and to achieve it with my sons was something special - or it should have been,” said Stephen, who lives in Dronfield.

“For some reason it just felt very flat, and I didn’t realise at the time that I was starting to slide into depression, something that is not uncommon for people who’ve been through cancer.”

He was referred to Cavendish Cancer Care where staff explained that, during treatment, the body produces larger amounts of the hormone serotonin in the brain.

Once everyday life is resumed, these serotonin levels drop back again, but often fall below where they should be.

“Life is good again,” said Stephen.

“We’re doing this ride in memory of fathers, grandfathers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, friends and colleagues - people that haven’t been as lucky as myself.”

The latest ride will follow a route from Dronfield to Hull, where Stephen, Sam and Joe will catch the ferry to Rotterdam.

They will then travel through Holland into Germany, meeting the Rhine at Cologne.

Following the Rhine to Basel, the trio will cycle down through France where they will tackle the famous Tour de France climb Alp D’Huez. From there they will head down to Cannes, Nice and then Monte Carlo.

Cavendish offers help and support to patients following a cancer diagnosis.

It also offers a service called Cavendish Kids, helping children and young people under 16.

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