Eight-year-old Super Cyclist Laia To Take On 150km Challenge For Prostate Cancer UK
As a keen surfer and sailor, Laia Priestley is certainly not afraid of an outdoor activity. However, the eight-year-old will face a whole new challenge later this month when she departs on a mammoth cycling expedition for Prostate Cancer UK.
Laia, from Bingley near Bradford, is set to tackle 150km of cycling across some of West Yorkshire and Cumbria’s toughest terrain as part of Prostate Cancer UK’s new Cycle the Month challenge.
The youngster, who will be joined by her dad, Graham, and two teddy bears, Pippin and Honour, will pedal for three days cycle to raise funds for the leading men’s health charity after her grandad, Ian – known as ‘Beastals’ - was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2015.
Laia will set off on her 93-mile expedition on July 27th, finishing the first day in Buckden before she pedals on to Kirkby Stephen for day two. The third and final day will see her arrive at a location that the Priestley family hold dear – Ullswater Yacht Club, where Laia has a sailing boat. Laia’s grandmother will join them for the final stint before the family, including Grandad Beastals, will reunite at the famous lake to mark her incredible achievement.
“It’s a massive challenge, with lots of hills!” said Graham.
“Laia is very excited but isn’t looking forward to going up all the hills along the way. We’ve been cycling together quite a bit during lockdown and we’ll do a little practice ride before.
“We’ve always been to Ullswater as that’s where dad lives and it’s one of Laia’s favourite places. Laia has a little boat on the lake there and we’re hoping that dad will be able to come out and meet her when she finishes.
“As a family we really appreciate the work Prostate Cancer UK does, so it’s nice to be able to support by raising money and for Laia to do something for her grandad. It’s important for men to know about prostate cancer and get checked.”
“I’m very excited but also a little bit nervous. I’m looking forward to cycling down the hills, but not looking forward to going up them – I’m tired just thinking about them! I’ll taking my two teddies, Pippin and Honour, along with me.
“I wanted to raise £150 but so far I’ve raised over £2,000, which I’m really pleased about. My grandad has taught me to go out and live life to the full, so here I go. Beastals, I’m coming to get you!”
Tracey Pritchard, Director of Fundraising & Supporter Engagement at Prostate Cancer UK, said:
“We’re incredibly proud that Laia has joined our team of remarkable riders in taking on Cycle the Month and raising vital funds for Prostate Cancer UK.
“Prostate cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK. The impact of the coronavirus crisis means our life-saving research is at risk and men have never needed support more to protect research into better tests and treatments to stop prostate cancer being a killer.
“One man dies from prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK but we want to make prostate cancer a disease that the next generation of men do not fear. We thank Laia and everyone who is taking part in Cycle the Month – and all of our fundraisers – for joining the fight.”
To sponsor Laia, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/LaiaPriestley
For more information about how to sign up for Cycle the Month, visit cyclethemonth.prostatecanceruk.org