Pontefract mum who survived cancer gets in fundraising saddle

CUBA BOUND: Rachel Woodhouse and Lesley Burnett who will take part in a charity ride in Cuba. PIC: Steve Riding
CUBA BOUND: Rachel Woodhouse and Lesley Burnett who will take part in a charity ride in Cuba. PIC: Steve Riding
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A cancer diagnosis on her third wedding anniversary was a devastating blow for mum Rachel Woodhouse.

She feared she would not live to see her 18-month-old son grow up after doctors gave her the dreaded news on June 22, 2006.

Mrs Woodhouse, of Upton near Pontefract, underwent chemotherapy every three weeks for four months as she fought Non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

After being given the all clear, Mrs Woodhouse vowed to raise cash for cancer charities. She has since helped raise £3,500 by staging fundraising events, including baking and make-up parties.

Now 34-year-old Mrs Woodhouse, who has two children – two-year-old Oliver and George, aged eight – is set to get on her bike for a mammoth £400,000 fundraising cycle challenge across Cuba.

Mrs Woodhouse will team up with neighbour Lesley Burnett to travel to Cuba next October, where they will join dozens of women on Action for Charity’s Women V Cancer fundraising bike ride.

All the cash raised will be split between Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action.

Mrs Woodhouse said: “Beating cancer was the biggest challenge I have faced in my life so far. I thought I was going to lose my family and I feared I wouldn’t be here to see George grow up. This bike ride will be a new challenge for me and I can’t wait to take it on. We will be riding with women who have been through their own personal battles.

“Some of the women who will be taking part in Cuba are fighting cancer. I’m looking forward to the camaraderie of taking part in the ride with women who have ben through similar experiences.”

Mrs Burnett, 43, is getting back in the saddle after completing a 400km bike ride in Kenya’s Rift Valley in February, after her eldest sister Kathryn, 45, survived cervical cancer five years ago.

Visit: www.justgiving.com/teams/LesandRachCycleCuba2013 to sponsor the duo.

Alex Newman, partner at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds

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