Father gears up to cycle 435 miles for children’s ward which looked after his daughter

A father is cycling more than 400 miles to support the children’s ward that looked after his daughter, after she was admitted with severe chickenpox and had to spend her eighth birthday away from home.

Alex Petney-Smith, 37, from Fakenham, is a keen cyclist who has decided to take on the task of pedalling 435 miles for the children’s ward at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

His journey will begin on Friday, September 29 from the QEH and will take him along the Norfolk/Suffolk coast. He will then take a rest in Norwich, before tracing the coast to Ipswich before heading across the country to Luton, up to Peterborough and back at Lynn to finish.

Alex is cycling to raise money for the children's ward that cared for his daughter
Alex is cycling to raise money for the children’s ward that cared for his daughter

Alex said: “I was blown away by how incredible Rudham Ward was when my daughter was rushed in with a severe case of chickenpox.

“The support and endless hard work from all the staff were truly amazing and they were all so full of positivity.

“Nothing was too much trouble, they gave her a present and she had extra toys to play with all day.

The route will cover 435 miles
The route will cover 435 miles

“They also all made time to come in her room to wish her a happy birthday even though it was clear how busy they all were. All these little things made a stressful time for us as a family easier to bear.

“I know all things like games, toys and DVDs are funded on donations to the ward and when it was time leave, I knew wanted to raise some money to help go towards these special items to help others when they find themselves in the same situation.”

Alex will be covering 145 miles per day over the three days, and although he has already taken part in extreme cycling challenges before, this will be his longest yet.

Christine Easthall, Rudham Ward manager, said: “We are delighted to hear that Alex is undertaking a massive cycle ride for us.

“Kind fundraising like this enables us to provide extra things to improve the stay for our children, young people and their families.

“A huge thank you to Alex and lots of luck for your journey.”

To support Alex’s challenge, visit his JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/page/alex-pentney-smith-1693944863606

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