Aylesbury teacher smashes fundraising target after completing 150-mile cycle ride in tribute to her mum
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Mandy Carey from Aston Clinton completed the annual Tour de Rennie Grove along with friends Ali Arber and Jody Williams.
Between them they have raised £1,755 for Rennie Grove Hospice Care.
They chose to take on the cycling challenge to honour Mandy’s mum, Veronica, who is better known to her friends as ‘Wonky’.
As such, the team called themselves, ‘Wonky’s Wheelers’, they completed the 150-mile distance over three consecutive weeks.
Veronica has Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a neurological condition that has robbed the previously fit, active and sociable Wonky of her ability to walk, swallow and now talk.
Despite this, Mandy says her parents’ home is still full of laughter thanks to Rennie Grove Hospice Care, which is why she was keen to raise funds for the care service.
“The Rennie Grove nurses understand the condition, know what Mum needs, and make sure she gets it. They’ve organised equipment and helped us access funding.
"Their knowledge and ability to anticipate the care needed at the next stage means mum got 24-hour care just at the right time for her and my dad.
“They are always kind, compassionate and positive – there for us whenever we’ve needed them throughout Mum’s fight with this cruel disease.
"Mum loves seeing people and the nurses’ visits really bring her to life. My dad is so much more relaxed as a result. I know he felt very alone during lockdown – so stressed by the situation that he collapsed.
"Now he knows things are in place, he knows who to call and he knows he can call them at any time of the day or night and they’ll be there. And we have needed to call the Rennie Grove overnight team out, for example when Mum’s had a choking episode.
"I know Dad relies on Rennie Grove and he trusts the nurses implicitly, to the point where now he won’t worry if he misses a visit.
"For example, if a nursing visit clashes with his Pilates class, he’ll leave the nurses to it. He knows they’ll look after Mum, and he’s learned he needs to take care of himself too.”
As well as supporting her parents and teaching, Mandy is a mum to two teenage children both currently studying for their GCSEs.
She says training for the bike ride has been a healthy distraction and a great focus.
“The routes were tough – but when you know you’re doing it for a really good cause, it’s easy to keep going,” she says. “And we’ve loved visiting places we used to go together, like Whipsnade Zoo and Tiggywinkles – that one was a slight deviation from the training route - but so worth it for the smiles we got when we showed Mum the photos.
"It’s been lovely for lots of reasons. Mum adores hearing the stories about the ride, and she met us at the end of the first leg, all smiles. Her cousin, who she hadn’t seen for three years, joined us there too.”
Each leg of the route brought riders to a Rennie Grove hospice in Bucks or Herts.
The team’s sponsorship page can be found online here.