Little Lewis’s struggle inspires Bikeathon participant

Lewis Clarke remained cheerful throughout his treatment for leukaemia
Lewis Clarke remained cheerful throughout his treatment for leukaemia

A RUGBY dad is cycling 26 miles for a life-saving charity that helps people like his little boy who is fighting leukaemia.

Matthew Clarke is taking part in Rugby Bikeathon in honour of his four-year-old son Lewis.

He is appealing for sponsors to help raise funds for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Lewis was diagnosed with the disease on December 2, 2010.

Matthew, of Timber Court, said: “It’s a day we will never forget.

“Lewis has had a lot of treatment and is doing really well. His hair has grown back and he’s lucky that he hasn’t been left with too many problems.”

Harsh chemotherapy and steroid treatment has left Lewis with painful joints.

“Even though he is four we sometimes have to use a pushchair,” added Matthew. “His joints can ache and he finds it hard to walk. Some children’s spines have wasted away after treatment so we are quite lucky really.”

His parents have always been honest with their son when he asked questions about the disease.

“He asks about his ‘bad blood’ and from day one we’ve been 100 per cent honest. He’s a great kid.”

Matthew will be taking part in Rugby Bikeathon for the second year running.

“I’ve had my own health problems so I won’t be cycling 50 miles,” he said. “Last year’s event was rainy and windy but I loved every minute of it. It’s such a positive thing to do for an amazing charity.”

Matthew paid tribute to event organiser Janet Haynes MBE, founder of the Rugby branch of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

“She’s amazing and has done so much for us,” he said.

“My wife Anne has also been a star since Lewis was diagnosed.”

Lewis, who attends Squirrels Pre-School, is now looking forward to the future.

“It’s not long until he starts Paddox Primary School. He’s really looking forward to it. He’s a bright boy and we’re really proud of him.”

If you would like to sponsor Matthew, visit www.justgiving.com/ridingforlewis

Cyclists can ride ten, 26 or 50 miles, starting at either Riverside School in Rugby or the Royal Oak in Brandon. For more information on the event telephone Janet Haynes on 01926 632258 or janethaynesllr@btinternet.com or visit beatingbloodcancer.org.uk/cycling