72 year old set to cycle 700 miles in 7 days in wife's memory

Chilton resident Rod Alexander, aged 72, is planning to cycle 700 miles in seven days in memory of his wife Jacky, to raise money for Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity.
Chilton resident Rod Alexander, aged 72, is planning to cycle 700 miles in seven days in memory of his wife Jacky, to raise money for Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity.

Chilton resident Rod Alexander, aged 72, is planning to cycle 700 miles in seven days in memory of his wife Jacky, to raise money for Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity.

Rod, who has lived in Chilton near Thame for the past 31 years, will complete the first 600 miles in six days around the undulating Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire countryside. The final 100 miles will be completed on a static bike on Saturday July 27 th outside the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity Shop in Thame where he volunteers two days each week.

Rod’s wife, Jacky, who died aged just 58 last year, spent the final few weeks of her life at the Hospice after over a year spent battling with great courage and dignity against a very aggressive brain tumour.

July 29 will be the first anniversary of Jacky’s death and Rod wanted to do something practical toacknowledge the extraordinary care which was provided by Florence Nightingale Hospice.

“When Jacky arrived at the Hospice, she was unable to walk and could utter only the occasional word,” says Rod. “Throughout the next few weeks, Jacky received levels of care, compassion, medical expertise and love which I would not have believed possible.

The whole family were embraced by the hospice team and I was virtually allowed to live there.

“It was no surprise therefore that I heard the other day that a recent report from the Quality Care Commission recorded that ‘end of life care’ at the Hospice had been rated as ‘outstanding’.”

Rod is aiming to raise £12,000 for the Charity. He is funding all costs, so every pound raised will go directly to the Hospice.

To put this challenge into perspective, Rod normally cycles about 80 miles per week. He adds, “The challenge is seriously out of my comfort zone but I am sure that memories of Jacky and the prospect of raising money for such a wonderful cause will keep me going.”

Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rods700 or by contacting Rod on ralexander85@btinternet.com .