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Friend takes on epic bike ride in reporter’s memory

A friend of a former journalist who died from cancer at the age of 28 will cycle more than 950 miles to raise funds in his memory.

Matt Beeson was a reporter at the now defunct title Your Leek Paper before going on to become a teacher.

He died from Hepatosplenic Lymphoma, a rare and aggressive blood cancer, in August.

Matt was also a former Radio Stoke journalist and married wife Charlie just three months before his death.

In June Alex Buckland will take on Jogle 2012, an epic journey from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research on a single speed bike.

He is already well on his way to reaching his fundraising target after being presented with a cheque for £1,000 by leading UK hotel group Legacy Hotels and Resorts

The two became friends at Staffordshire University when Matt began dating Charlie, who was Alex’s best friend.

Alex, 26, a web-developer now living in Romania, had vowed to take on the Jogle challenge when Matt was diagnosed with the rare blood cancer in March and has vowed to put everything into the mission in his memory.

Alex Buckland with Phil Dunn from Legacy Preston International Hotel

Said Alex:  “I’m determined to do this now more than ever in memory of Matt.

“He was right behind me doing the cycle ride and I’d planned the route to go past his house.

“It’s really sad he won’t be part of the challenge, but my efforts and thoughts will be with him, his wife, Charlie, and family every pedal of the way.

“Although there’s still a while to go before I set-off I want to be in the best shape I can so am doing around 200 miles a week in training so hopefully I’ll be a lot stronger come June 12.

“I want to raise as much as I can for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and this generous donation from Legacy Hotels is a fabulous start.”

Alex, who has raised £1,100 so far, is planning on cycling the route on a single-speed bike over 13 days, meaning he has to complete 75 miles a day.

The bike will be trailed by a support car carrying all the food Alex will need – around 6,000 calories per day.

To find out more about Alex’s JOGLE log on to  http://jogle2012.org or email Alex at jogle2012@gmail.com

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