Louise Ward | Planning Manager
We mulled it over for a second, but it wasn’t long until myself and fellow colleagues Marc O’Shea, Harley Steward and Chris Nightingale found ourselves typing a jubilant ‘Yes, please!’ in response.
Organised by the MPA and in alliance with NABS, we wanted to join the bike ride not just to raise awareness for those in the creative industry who have faced adversity, but also for reasons which were, sadly, much closer to home.
Ex-MediaCommer, Laura Sweeting, was last year diagnosed with a brain tumour, of which caused a 40% loss in her vision. Upon surgery, Laura then heard the terrible news that the tumour had returned. With our efforts on the charity ride, we hoped to raise enough money so that Laura could continue with the care she needs.
Unfortunately, when the day of the ride rolled around, so did the rain. However, a few showers weren’t going to deter the four of us, and along with 18 other cyclists from MPA, were soon on our way to take on the mighty Peaks.
After a nice flat start, the route soon got ‘lumpy’ and after 52 miles in, we found ourselves making the ‘wrong-but-right’ way up Blaze Hill (at a climb of more than 1,000 feet, it’s not something we’d recommend). While Blaze Hill usually boasts glorious views across the national park, we couldn’t see much on the day from all of the fog and rain. As a result, our speedy cycling slowed down – luckily, we had our energy gels, flapjacks, water and, most importantly, team morale to get us through the worst of it.
Our P.M.A (or “positive mental attitude”) and spirit kept us going from base to summit. No doubt Laura’s inspiring mental attitude was helping too and, although I have never met Laura personally, her inspiring story kept me going. Even when the discomfort in my legs and lungs threatened to bring me to a halt, I knew that they were nothing compared to Laura’s daily struggles. Thankfully, our P.M.A worked, and we soon found ourselves winding down through Pott Shrigley and Adlington to a much-deserved lunch stop.
After a quick carb-load and a slight dry-off, we were ready to rock again. Putting on a soggy helmet wasn’t fun, but with our mocktail kicking in, we cycled the last 14 miles with a new lease of life. The sun even made its first appearance of the day – hoorah!
As we cycled to the finish line after a long day, there was only one thing on our mind: Laura. Although achy and super soggy, we knew it was nothing compared to what she has been, and is currently, going though.
Keep pushing on, Laura. You’re a true inspiration to us all.
Louise (and fellow MediaCom cycling team Chris, Marc and Harley)
For anyone that wishes to help Laura through this hard time please visit https://www.gofundme.com/laura-sweeting.