Cancer inspires teacher Jill to get on her bike

Jill Hirst with Mike Suggitt and Peter Fenlon
Jill Hirst with Mike Suggitt and Peter Fenlon
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A leeds music teacher whose cancer treatment often leaves her too weak to stand has set herself a 140 mile cycle challenge.

Jill Hirst, 54, from Great Preston is planning to cycle 140 miles along the Coast to Coast cycleway from Whitehaven to Sunderland to raise money for the Yorkshire Cancer Centre.

An impressive feat at best of times but even more so in Mrs Hirst’s case as she is receiving chemotherapy for an aggressive form of malignant melanoma.

But, with the full backing of her doctor and consultant, who have agreed to modify her treatment for the duration of the week-long ride, she is determined to go ahead on July 7.

She said: “The diagnosis is not great but it was suggested to me that I should set myself a personal target. Being an enthusiastic leisure cyclist there was only one challenge for me to aim for and that was the Coast to Coast.

She said she wanted to show her appreciation for the care provided by staff at St James’ Hospital by raising as much as possible.

Jill will be joined on the ride by her friend Mike Suggitt with support provided by another friend Pete Fenlon. The trio intend to ride 30 miles a day and are funding it themselves, so every penny donated will go to the Yorkshire Cancer Centre.

Mrs Hirst, who has two daughters and a grandchild on the way, said: “The chemotherapy has made me so very, very ill but my doctor has agreed to give me a short course of powerful steroids to enable me to complete the ride.

“I’m under no illusions, it will be very hard but I’m determined to do it.”

Donate via or by sending a text to YCCJ54 (followed by an amount in full pounds) to 70070

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