Biking tribute to cancer care

Joseph Gordon, Kathy Ancell, Neil Bontoft and Lee Rogers, after their cycle ride in aid of the Victoria Hospital - in memory of Neil's fiancee Siobhan Cavanagh who died from leukaemia
Joseph Gordon, Kathy Ancell, Neil Bontoft and Lee Rogers, after their cycle ride in aid of the Victoria Hospital - in memory of Neil's fiancee Siobhan Cavanagh who died from leukaemia
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A KIND-hearted cyclist who lost his beloved fiancee to leukaemia has completed a gruelling 190-mile bike ride to help the hospital which treated her.

Neil Bontoft, 29, was raising money for the Haematology Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital where his fiancee Siobhan – known as Shiv – Cavanagh was treated until her death on Valentine’s Day.

He said: “There were three of us doing the ride which took three days to complete. Lee Rogers, Joseph Gordon and myself went from Beverley in Yorkshire where Shiv was born, on July 20, as this would have been her birthday.

“For the last 25 miles from Ribchester to Blackpool Victoria we were joined by about 15 family and friends which made it really fun.

“Shiv was such a fun and happy person and always had a smile on her face and we wanted to reflect this.

“Shiv was treated for about 11 months before she died. The staff at Blackpool were fantastic and are an absolute credit to the hospital. We couldn’t have asked for better and they actually found themselves being friends of Shiv’s as well, she was such a nice person, it was just part of her nature.”

The couple, from Preston, were together for six years. Shiv left behind two sons, Neil’s stepsons, Charlie, 14 and Lewis, 10, who also took part in the ride. So far, the team has raised about £3,600, but they hope to get to £5,000.

Kathy Ancell, fundraising manager at the trust, said: “We want to thank Neil, Lee and Joseph for taking on such an immense personal and fundraising challenge, to benefit our haematology department. They really are inspirational and we are enormously grateful for their support.”

To support Neil log on to www.facebook.com/teamshiv or http://www.justgiving.com/shivcavanagh