Riding for Ben

This year I decided to do RideLondon-Surrey 100 for Children with Cancer UK and in support of young Ben Parkhouse who was re-diagnosed with leukemia towards the end of last year. Ben had already endured 4½ years of intensive treatment to try and rid his young body of this terrible disease and had only been in remission for seven months.

Ben is the son of my boss, a 14 year old the same as my daughter. On many levels I found myself connecting spiritually with a boy I had never met and with a boss who would be enduring his own pain and anguish.

When I told him of my intentions to support Ben in his battle against this disease, he was moved and so grateful that I would want to do this for his son. I felt humbled but also somewhat embarrassed that my challenge to ride 100 miles was nothing compared to Ben’s own challenge where the prize at the end for him would be his life.

In terms of making my challenge harder I aim to complete the ride in 4hrs 30’. A degree of suffering and pain is to be expected, but somehow this feels appropriate given the amount of suffering, of a wholly different type, Ben has had to endure. I know that at some point I am likely to feel a spiritual oneness with him and I will draw on this.

It was with great sadness that, on June 6th, Ben lost his battle and I will now be riding in his memory. I will take great strength from the fact that I will be riding to help all the children who are now and will in the future suffer this horrendous disease.

His father told us that Ben was a very determined young lad and battled to the end! He will be in my thoughts and prayers, driving me on in my challenge. Please God bless him and allow him to rest in peace free of suffering.

DAVE YOUNG

Please sponsor: www.justgiving.com/dave-young3