FIT and healthy 16-year-old Izzy Ball has made a 200-mile journey to show how far she has come.
Six years ago, it was a different story, as Izzy lay ill in hospital, having been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at the age of nine.
She and her family were living in Chichester at the time and the charity CLIC Sargent was quick to come to their aid.
Izzy explained: “When I was nine, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and straight away CLIC Sargent helped my family and me through this tough time.
“They did this by letting my mum sleep in the CLIC Sargent accommodation house at the hospital, so I wasn’t alone, and they offered money to cover travel costs to and from the hospital.
“This October, it has been six years since I was diagnosed and as my treatment and everything I went through was down south, I felt like I needed to make my journey back down there to show how much I have come on since my treatment.”
She organised Biketober, which saw her mum, Sue Ball, and three friends cycle from her current school in Lincolnshire to Bishop Luffa School in Chichester.
They set out from Boston High School on Saturday and were joined by head teacher, Andrew Fulbrook, for the first part of the journey.
Sue said: “He cycled from the school starting line to the outskirts of town to encourage the ride.
“We cycled approximately 200 miles over four days, riding to her first secondary school. Mr Taunt, head teacher at Bishop Luffa School gave his permission for us to use the school gates as the finish line.”
They arrived on time at 3pm on Tuesday, when family, friends and students gathered to welcome the exhausted riders with balloons and refreshments.
Sue said: “Izzy started at Bishop Luffa School in September 2010, having just recovered from cancer. We had to appeal to get her into Bishop Luffa and were very fortunate that the appeal was successful.
“She did very well there, but due to family circumstances, we found ourselves moving up to Lincolnshire during the course of her secondary education. She has since achieved her GCSEs and is now studying four A-levels at her current school.
“She is, thankfully, still clear of the cancer, i.e it has never returned, and she is obviously now very fit and wanted to do something to give back to the charity which helped us while she was ill.”
Izzy produced a PowerPoint to show staff and pupils at her school assembly and gave a short presentation in church to explain the background to the ride.
It all began in October 21, 2009, when Izzy began experiencing symptoms such as feeling faint, itching and vomiting.
Doctors found a lump on her neck and under her right arm, then scans revealed lumps below the skin.
Izzy started chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma and eventually regained her health.
CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, helped the family all the way, providing financial and emotional support during and after treatment.
As well as providing accommodation close to Izzy’s treatment, the charity paid for travel and parking costs.
To thank them, Sue and Izzy hoped to raise £1,000 from Biketober but the figure on JustGiving already stands at just under £1,500.
Visit www.justgiving.com/Izzy-Jayne for more information and to make a donation.
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