Cycling trek for Macmillan in memory of mum who died after short cancer battle

The Macmillan Cycletta
The Macmillan Cycletta

A woman from Sandy will be taking part in a cycling event in tribute to her mum who died in December after a short battle with cancer.

Rebecca Bygraves will be cycling 20km for Macmillan in memory of her mum Sharon who died just weeks after discovering she had the disease, and that it was terminal.

Sharon was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in November, and a scan following revealed the devastating news that it had spread to her lungs, spleen and liver.

Rebecca at the time was working two night training shifts as she had recently been promoted at work, and it wasn’t until November 15 that the whole family heard the awful news about Sharon and that there was nothing the hospital could do.

Rebecca recalls: “I wanted to spend as much time with mum as possible. She was getting worse every day and now couldn’t even walk without a wheelchair.”

Sharon was given 9-12 months to live if she started having chemotherapy treatment. She started treatment at the Macmillan Primrose Unit at Bedford Hospital.

After her first round the family were given the further devastating news that the chemo hadn’t worked, the cancer had spread even more and the doctors recommended she was taken into palliative care.

The family decided that Sharon should be at home to receive this care and they had help from district nurses and their Macmillan nurse, Julia. Sharon deteriorated rapidly - Rebecca and her father, Melvyn, relied upon the nurse’s support and are very grateful for all that they did for Sharon.

Rebecca said: “Mum had deteriorated. She had planned her own funeral with her best friend’s son who is a trainee vicar in Cambridge. She had bought my son an electric Mini, my sister a Playstation 3 and I had the Michael Kors watch I wanted. She told us every day how much she loved us. The Macmillan nurse Julia told my dad we had less than 48 hours left.”

On December 16, Rebecca had just dropped her young son at nursery when she received a call to go straight round to her parents house.

She said: “I sat with her on my own for a while, we both had a big love of musical theatre and I sang to her some songs she would have usually moaned at me to shut up but it felt nice.

“I noticed mum’s breathing had changed and I called my dad. He’s a firefighter and knew I was right that it had changed. Mum very peacefully passed away with my dad my sister, my husband and her best friend by her side.”

After Sharon’s funeral in January, Rebecca decided to give something back and enter the Macmillan Cycletta Bedfordshire event to raise vital funds for the charity.

On Saturday, June 20, Rebecca and hundreds of other ladies will cycle from Woburn Abbey on a 20km route around the Bedfordshire countryside.

Rebecca said: “Everyone still tells me how brave I am being but every day is a struggle as I miss her more and more. It was my son’s 2nd birthday recently and it was a wonderful celebration but just so awful that mum wasn’t there.

“If anyone reading this has a relative that is very tired, has slight back pain and always orders and eats soft food please ask them to go to the doctors and push to be checked out. I can’t help but think that if we had got to her sooner chemo might have worked.”

If you would like further information about support or taking part in an event such as the Macmillan Cycletta Bedfordshire to help make a difference to the lives of everyone affected by cancer in the community then visit the Macmillan website www.macmillan.org.uk.

To show your support to Rebecca and Macmillan, visit her fundraising page https://www.justgiving.com/Rebecca-Bygraves/ and make a donation.