Ipswich: Family and friends of Kerry Thorpe raise £1,600 in 12-hour bikeathon – and want her legacy to live on

Bikeathon in aid of Kerry Alex Thorpe Trust at The Fitness Unit, Ipswich. Left to right, Megan and Josh Nelli. Bikeathon in aid of Kerry Alex Thorpe Trust at The Fitness Unit, Ipswich. Left to right, Megan and Josh Nelli.

Monday, May 5, 2014
4:18 PM

Driven on by her inspirational courage, family and friends of Kerry Thorpe have taken part in a gruelling 12-hour charity fundraiser to honour her memory.

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Since the 23-year-old from Kesgrave lost her battle with cystic fibrosis six weeks ago, dozens of supporters have stepped up to ensure her fundraising efforts and legacy live on.

On Saturday around 20 cyclists, including Kerry’s fiancé Josh Nelli, clocked up hundreds of miles in a bikeathon from 8am to 8pm at The Fitness Unit in Felixstowe Road, Ipswich.

At least £1,600 was raised for charities supported by Kerry. The total is expected to increase this week as 
more donations flood in.

In her short life, Kerry, who was an ambassador for Live Life Then Give Life, raised awareness for both cystic fibrosis and the desperate need for people to register for organ donation.

Her fighting spirit shone through as she tried to defy the odds. She was added to the list for a double lung transplant two years ago, but her call never came.

Kerry died on March 21 from end stage cystic fibrosis at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.

Mr Nelli said Kerry would have been proud of the latest fundraising efforts.

“She might have thought we were a bit crazy but she would have been proud,” he said.

“Kerry was courageous and meant a lot to everyone. She was obviously brought up around it (her condition) and was always quite frank if she got the transplant she would have a life to look forward to.

“Ultimately she accepted she did not get that chance but we are all proud of what she achieved in a really short space of time.

“She was brave as it was such a battle to keep well. Her drive has rubbed off on us and I like to think that her mental strength has also rubbed off on us.”

He thanked everyone who took part in the bikeathon, with one participant raising £500.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who took part. People who supported us three years ago have never gone away,” he said.

“I would also like to thank The Fitness Unit. They approached us and so much work went on behind the scenes.”

Mr Nelli added fundraisers are also taking part in the Alton Water 10k run on Sunday and the Orwell Walk and Cycle Ride on June 29.

Meanwhile he said family and friends have been “blown away” by the response to the Facebook page set up for The Kerry Alex Thorpe Trust.

“We have hot more than 6,000 likes on the Facebook page,” he said. “It has taken off – people have come together for a common cause.

“But we want to set up The Kerry Alex Thorpe Trust as a stand-alone charity so we can fully raise its profile and carry on her hard work and legacy. We want her name to live on.

“It was sad obviously we had to lose Kerry but hopefully people won’t be in the same situation in the future.”

He said £5,000 is needed to create the stand-alone charity.

Visit The Kerry Alex Thorpe Trust Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thekerryalexthorpetrust.

Anyone wanting to donate can send cheques for The Kerry Alex Thorpe Trust made payable to Archant Community Media Ltd to Lauren Everitt, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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