Mum's cancer battle inspires Steve through 'pain, sweat and tears' in charity cycle challenge

August 30 2020
Mum's cancer battle inspires Steve through 'pain, sweat and tears' in charity cycle challenge

WHEN Steve Higgins' mum was helped through her cancer treatment by a charity, he was determined to give something back.

Steve says his mum Clare is "a true inspiration" and "his hero".

So in return for the help Macmillan Cancer Support gave to the Coalpit Heath family during her treatment, he set up an appeal and rode 100 miles around South Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire in a day to raise money.

Steve's appeal had passed £2,000 as the Voice went to press.

Clare Higgins was diagnosed with grade 2 triple positive breast cancer in March of last year.

She had surgery at Southmead hospital, with chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the BRI. She finished treatment in July but needs to take the drug tamoxifen for at least five years.

Macmillan helped Clare, her husband Alistair and sons Steve and Matt through, explaining what to expect at every stage.

Alistair said: “It is incredibly tough seeing someone you love going through treatment and feeling helpless. It definitely brought us all closer together.”  

Steve (pictured above at the finishing line with Clare), who works in the family's vehicle valeting and protection businesses, originally signed up to take part in the charity’s Prudential 100 mile ride but when it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, he decided to go it alone.

He started his ride in Charlton Hayes at about 7am on August 16, aiming for the Miners Club in Coalpit Heath via Chepstow, Thornbury, Berkeley, Dursley, Tetbury wotton-under-Edge, Yate and Marshfield. His brother Matt was in the support vehicle and his son Hugo joined him for the end of the ride.

Steve said: “I’ve only ever cycled 100 miles once before, the Prudential ride London 100 for BLISS about 3 years ago. This was by far my biggest challenge that I have undertaken.

"Training was difficult. My longest ride in three years was 40 miles. I did struggle with training due to work commitments.”

At about 40 miles into the ride, Alistair decided to join in.

He said: “I felt Steve was mentally and physically struggling after Whiteway Hill, near Dursley, so I felt I needed to offer support.”

Steve said: “It was amazing just being able ride freely with Dad, it made the middle section feel effortless, which helped me massively.

"Reaching 80-85 miles my legs were hurting and I felt like I had nothing left to give. After a heart-to-heart with Dad and seeing a picture of my son waiting at my final checkpoint, I pushed through the mental barrier.

"Seeing mum at the finish line was definitely the best part of the day and made the whole day of pain sweat and tears very much worth it.”

Steve Higgins with parents Clare and Alistair and son Hugo at the finish line

Steve’s original fundraising target of £600 was smashed, with around 80 donors, including many Chapple & Locke and 1st Class Car Valeting customers, taking the total over £2,000 as the Voice went to press.

You can donate online here.