Essex: Cyclists from county join ride to Germany to help leukaemia patient meet his bone marrow donor

Hero of Hamelin Bike Ride. from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, to Hamelin in North Germ

Hero of Hamelin Bike Ride. from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, to Hamelin in North Germany – a 500 mile journey! We’re raising money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, the Anthony Nolan Trust and a new charity, Bpositive. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Two Essex residents are taking part in a 500 mile cycle ride from Birmingham to Germany to raise money for three leukaemia support charities.

Hero of Hamelin Bike Ride. from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, to Hamelin in North Germ

Hero of Hamelin Bike Ride. from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, to Hamelin in North Germany – a 500 mile journey! We’re raising money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, the Anthony Nolan Trust and a new charity, Bpositive. - Credit: Gregg Brown

John Reeve from Wickham Bishops and friend Lauren Hockney, from Colchester, are doing the Hero of Hamelin ride along with five other people.

It has been organised by leukaemia patient Jonjo Rooney who is cycling from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where he received a bone marrow transplant, to Hamelin in north Germany to meet his donor.

Sponsorship from the event will raise money for Bpositive, co-founded by Mr Rooney, the Anthony Nolan Trust and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

The riders stopped off to meet staff from the haematology unit at Colchester General Hospital yesterday during the third leg of their ride, between Haverhill and Harwich Port.

Hero of Hamelin Bike Ride. from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, to Hamelin in North Germ

Hero of Hamelin Bike Ride. from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, to Hamelin in North Germany – a 500 mile journey! We’re raising money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, the Anthony Nolan Trust and a new charity, Bpositive. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Mr Reeve, the other co-founder of Bpositive and trustee at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, has been raising awareness and £450,000 through his own trust since the death of his son Tim from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2005 aged 23.

“It’s going really well and I’m the one trying to keep the 30-year-olds in check and getting them started in the morning,” the 61-year-old joked.

“They are a great bunch and totally committed to Jonjo and helping him to make sure he gets there. I have known him for three years and as soon as he told me what he wanted to do I thought it was a fabulous story and we had to make it happen – I am delighted we are actually doing it now.

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I hope this ride will be the catalyst for us to be able to raise more awareness.

Hero of Hamelin Bike Ride. from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, to Hamelin in North Germ

Hero of Hamelin Bike Ride. from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, to Hamelin in North Germany – a 500 mile journey! We’re raising money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, the Anthony Nolan Trust and a new charity, Bpositive. - Credit: Gregg Brown

“I believe everyone needs to have a dream, some target they are aiming for, and I believe in dreaming big and setting goals high. Tim had a dream to go to German when he was ill, which led me to walk to Germany, and Jonjo wanted to meet his donor.

“Giving young people the chance to make their dreams come true is vitally important.”

Ms Hockney, 30, said she preferred running but was keen to take on the challenge as soon as Mr Reeve, her friend of seven years, asked if she wanted to join the ride – despite not even having a bike.

The sub-editor said: “The ride has had its moments so far. The hills have been tough and we have been getting used to riding together as a group.

“But it has been amazing, the support has been incredible with plenty of donations coming in from us telling people what we are doing along the way.”

Mr Rooney, 30, who has family in Colchester, said he did not yet know what he would say to his donor, but added he would definitely thank him and buy him a big beer.

To donate to the trip text BPOS01 £5 (or change the amount) to 70070, or visit Ms Hockney’s JustGiving page.