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Fundraiser takes on tough cycle challenge in mum’s memory

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Fundraiser takes on tough cycle challenge in mum’s memory

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Published by James Allan for Salix Homes in Health and also in Care and Support, Housing

Salix Homes marketing officer Gina Dalton Salix Homes marketing officer Gina Dalton

A Salix Homes employee is gearing up for the ride of her life in memory of her beloved mum.

Gina Dalton, 34, is taking on a 400km cycle ride across Cuba to raise money for three women’s cancer charities, 25 years after her mum Kathleen Dalton died of breast cancer at the age of 41.

Gina, who is a marketing officer at Salford-based housing provider Salix Homes, was just 10 years old when her mum died.

She said: “This year marks the 25th anniversary of my mum’s death so I wanted to do something really special in her memory and raise money and awareness for women’s cancer charities.

“Mum’s death was a very difficult time for the whole family and it was very hard for me and my sister growing up without a mum, but I want to turn that into a positive and raise money to help other families who are going through what we went through.”

Gina, from Didsbury, sets off on May 1 for the Women V Cancer Cuban cycle challenge where she will join a 100-strong team of women whose lives have all been touched by cancer.

The inspirational cyclists will ride for five days across the tough Cuban terrain, averaging 80km a day, to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action.

And it’s going to be an especially tough challenge for Gina who admits she’s not at all sporty.

She said: “I’m not a sporty person at all, I hate going to the gym and before I started my cycle training I’d not been on a bike since I was a child, but I thought it would be quite fitting to do a cycle challenge in honour of my mum because she was a really keen cyclist. She couldn’t drive so she used to go everywhere on her bike. I know it’s going to be tough, but I know she would have been proud of me, and that will keep me going.

“One of the things I’m looking forward to most is meeting the other women taking part who have all either had cancer or lost a someone to cancer, so it’ll be nice to meet other people who have experienced what my family went through and I’m sure we will all help each other.”

Gina has embarked on a tough training regime over the past 12 months, which has included taking part in the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride in the summer when she and a group of friends raised more than £3,000 for Manchester’s Christie Hospital where her mum was treated.

She is now hoping to raise £2,500 for Women V Cancer which she must raise by February 21, which would have been her mum’s 66th birthday.

Gina added: “I’m very proud to be supporting such worthwhile charities and just hope that it goes some way towards ensuring that one day in the future other families will be saved from losing loved ones far too early in life like my family and I did.”

If you would like to sponsor Gina go to her Just Giving Page http://www.justgiving.com/Gina-cyclecuba

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