RUCKING and rolling is the name of the game for a Stratford man who is taking on a charity bike ride for a cause close to his heart.
Tom Lennon lost his dad – who was a single parent – last year to short battle with colon cancer.
Despite being given nine months to live, Sean Lennon died after just four weeks and during that time was cared for by the Shottery-based hospice and Macmillan.
Now Tom, who hails from Stratford, wants to give something back to the charities which supported his dad and the family, while combining two of his father’s greatest passions – cycling and rugby.
The Jaguar Land Rover employee will be riding nearly 750 miles from Exeter Chief Rugby Club to Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club via every 2018 season Premiership rugby club. He will set off on September 16.
He will be funding the entire trip himself, from hotels to physiotherapists.
Tom said: “My father was diagnosed with colon cancer and given nine months to live. He survived just four weeks.
“Despite the short time frame, the support from the Shakespeare Hospice and MacMillan was above and beyond. I’ve seen first-hand the great work hospices do and it shocks me they are self-funded.
“My dad took me week in, week out to watch Stratford Town and Wasps. The Six Nations hasn’t been the same this year without him, though I’m glad he didn’t have to endure the Scotland game.”
The Shakespeare Hospice, which supports those suffering from a life-limiting illness, is urging people to donate to Tom’s cause and for members of the rugby community to get behind his plight.
A spokeswoman said: “Tom is taking on this challenge without support. He is covering all costs himself, including hotel, food, nutrition, any physiotherapy treatment and transport. He has no follow car to carry equipment or to feed him or treat him when cramp sets in, no help fixing mechanical issues or to help prep hotels and ice baths…he will be doing this all himself.
“This doesn’t mean however, that Tom doesn’t want any support and The Shakespeare Hospice is looking to the rugby community to get involved in Tom’s plight, with a view to giving him a welcome at the clubs and share information about his challenge. If anyone would like to offer support Tom in any way, please comtact him.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/teams/rucknroll to donate or email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact Tom.