A weekly editor whose wife was diagnosed with leukaemia last year is planning a fundraiser of epic proportions to raise money for blood cancer charities.
Stephen Sinfield, who is editor of the Ashbourne News Telegraph and also a Burton Mail journalist, is planning a motorcycle rally between Birmingham and Burton in a bid to increase awareness and raise cash for charity, as his wife Katherine Sinfield battles leukaemia.
As reported by HTFP in August, Katherine is at the forefront of Burton Mail’s Take Five Minutes Campaign which is helping to raise awareness of blood cancer and encourages more potential donors to come forward.
Now Stephen has confirmed that the Boneshaker MARROWthon will take place on 2 March to raise money for Cure Leukaemia, Anthony Nolan and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham (QEHB) charity.
He says the event has taken months of organisation but plenty of publicity will be key to the ride’s success.
“In the article in August, I was somewhat optimistic that I could stage the event by October – I hadn’t bargained for the amount of planning and red tape involved,” said Stephen.
“But most importantly, Katherine’s care comes first, so it’s been hard to find the time required to make much progress.
A matching donor was found for Katherine in October last year and she had a transplant operation later that month.
“I spent weeks trying in vain to find a suitable starting point for the ride in Birmingham, but then the perfect offer came through – the ride can start from the rooftop of the main car park at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“Riders will then take a steady 35-mile ride back to Burton where they will ‘ride-past’ the Queen’s Hospital before finishing at the Pirelli Stadium where a family fun day will take place.
“After sourcing venues, licences and ride marshals, and dealing extensively with multiple councils, police forces and the Highways Agency, everything is falling into place. Contrary to belief, you cannot just hold a fundraiser of this nature without making sure every authority is happy with the plans – all of this takes time.
“I’ve just obtained a licence from the council which allows me to sell raffle tickets, so I am now on the hunt for quality prizes. There will be two raffles on the day, one with a biker-theme for the riders and one to suit families so prize donations for either would be welcome.
“Publicity will be key to the success of the ride and I’m lucky that a couple of national bike magazines plan to run something in the coming weeks. This, along with social media and good old-fashioned posters, should ensure we attract hundreds of bikes on the day.”