A grateful son certainly paced himself for fundraising success when he cycled from London to Paris to raise funds for Walsall Manor Hospital’s Chemotherapy Unit where both his parents had treatment within a year of each other.
Father-of-two James Moorcroft managed the 346 miles in four days and has so far raised £3,060 – completely smashing his original target of £750.
The 35-year-old who owns JF Dance, a custom-made dancewear company in Cannock, with wife Francesca, completed his charity cycle in July and will be handing over a cheque shortly.
He was inspired to support the Chemotherapy Unit after mum Pamela and dad Christopher, both 61, were both diagnosed with cancer.
“Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2021 and started her chemotherapy in December that year – unfortunately having to be in hospital for her 60th birthday in January 2022 with no family around her because of the COVID-19 restrictions,” James said.
“She also had sepsis after her chemotherapy and spent three occasions in hospital before her treatment finished in May 2022.
“At this time dad was ignoring the fact he had blood in his poo as his priority was mum and when he did get checked out, he was diagnosed with bowel cancer in December 2022 and had two parts of his bowel removed, followed by chemotherapy.
“The hardest part is realising two of the people you look up to most in the world are not immortal and I wanted to raise some money so that it helps the many more families that have to hear the dreaded words “it’s cancer.”
“I’m a competitive person and very active so could find no better reason to commit to cycling from London to Paris than to give something back to the unit that was such a support to my parents. I made sure I trained well beforehand and did the ride with a couple of friends. We met others along the way and became a good group, so much so that, despite some tough hills, overall it was an enjoyable experience.”
James’s parents are now living their lives as cancer survivors and enjoying precious family occasions with their six grandchildren.
James, whose company has worked on the Barbie film and TV shows including The Greatest Dancer, Britain’s Got Talent and Squid Games, added: “It was important that the money raised went directly towards helping others going through treatment like my mum and dad which is why we chose to donate through the hospital’s Well Wishers charity.”
Georgie Westley, Fundraising Manager at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said it was “a fantastic amount” raised.
“We are working with Joan Dyer, Outpatients Matron, to brighten up the Chemotherapy Unit for our patients and this fantastic amount that James has built up will go a long way towards helping us do that. Thank you James for your brilliant fundraising and our best wishes to your parents too.”