Candlelighters supporter Joanne Richardson will be taking her cycling to another continent this November when she cycles from Vietnam to Cambodia. She spoke to Candlelighters earlier this month to describe the challenge and explain why she chose to support the charity.
Speaking to Candlelighters, Joanne said: “I am flying out to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on the 19th November, returning home on the 29th November.”
“I will be riding my bike out of the City, and into rural areas through the Mekong Delta. After 3 full days cycling through Vietnam we cross into Cambodia for the last 3 days of our challenge, passing the infamous killing fields and into Siem Reap, crossing the finishing line at the beautiful, ancient temple of Angkor Wat.”
“I am going on the challenge by myself and although I will meet people over there and there could be up to 25 of us in the group, I won’t know any of them before I get there! I am funding the challenge myself (or my lovely husband is!) so all the money I raise will come directly to Candlelighters.”
“I have never done anything like this before and am extremely nervous, but excited as well. I have been a stay at home mum for the last 8 years and so although the bike ride itself is a huge challenge, the other parts are going to be just as difficult for me…the travelling, meeting new people, being away from my two boys for more than just one night for the first time!”
“I will be riding in temperatures of up to 35c and in 80% humidity levels. The route is over 400km, with the longest day being around 90km. It truly will be a challenge, in every sense of the word!”
Joanne chose to support Candlelighters after the charity helped her close friend, Eve, and her family when she developed Hodgkins Lymphoma at just 8 years old.
Joanne said: “As well as all the vital research that Candlelighters fund, the support that they give the children and their families is just amazing.”
“Eve’s mum told me about how important the playworkers were on the wards…if she needed to step out of the building for a while (sometimes I guess you just need a breather!) she knew that there would be someone who could sit with Eve, play with her and make sure that she was ok. Eve even got the chance to produce her own animation which she loved…it’s things like that that make those long stints in hospital just that bit more bearable!”
Joanne added: “The Christmas party that Candlelighters fund is amazing and gives the children a real boost and that, along with toys, Sunday lunches, head massages for parents, not to mention a much needed and appreciated respite holiday to Center Parcs and much more, make Candlelighters an essential tool for helping children and their families at the worst possible time.”
If you would like to sponsor Joanne, please visit her JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Joanne-Richardson77