A couple who found love after tragedy are about to reach a fundraising milestone of £100,000 for Cancer Research UK during a 430-mile, five-day bike ride from Newcastle to Southampton.

Sue Duncombe and Patrick McGuire were both widowed at the age of 52 and have spent the past 10 years raising funds for the charity. Patrick lost his wife Pam to bowel cancer in 2007 and Sue’s husband Philip died of prostate cancer on Christmas Day 2009, aged 57.

Sue and Patrick volunteer, fundraise and campaign for Cancer Research UK and met through their charity work. After a whirlwind romance they married in December 2016.

The married couple, who live in Oxfordshire have already raised more than £70,000 for Cancer Research UK, in honour of their loved ones.

They’re now on a mission to bring that total to £100,000 in their latest challenge called North to South for Cancer Research UK (N2S4CRUK) which starts on 12 August.

In addition to fundraising, they want to raise awareness of the geographical coverage of Cancer Research UK and the fact that the charity researches all forms of cancer

Sue and Patrick will get on their bikes to face their 430-mile challenge, setting off from the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, where scientists undertake clinical research into new cancer drugs.

Sue and Patrick will then visit the Newcastle Cancer Centre at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research on Framlington Place, Newcastle.

Launched in July 2009, the Newcastle Cancer Centre at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research is a collaboration between Cancer Research UK, North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund, Newcastle University and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The Newcastle Cancer Centre aims to speed up the delivery of new therapies and improve cancer services in the area.

Sue and Patrick will cycle from Newcastle (the northern-most Cancer Research UK research centre in England) all the way down to Southampton (the southern-most Cancer Research UK research centre), arriving on the 16 August.

They will cycle through North Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Coventry and plan to call in at their local Cancer Research UK centre in Oxford on the way.

Sue explained: “We’re really excited for our latest challenge and can’t wait to get a good send off from people in the North East. I spent five years studying at Newcastle University and still feel a great affection for the city. Cancer Research UK spends over £5 million a year on research in the North East and we know that people in the region have a passion to beat cancer.”

Patrick added: “Having both been widowed at the age of 52, due to our spouses dying fro​m​cancer, we recognise the importance of Cancer Research UK’s work and want to save other families from having to go through this devastating experience.

“Since the deaths of Pam and Philip in 2007 and 2009, we became more and more involved with Cancer Research UK to beat cancer and reduce the number of families whose lives are devastated by cancer.”

The pair are no stranger to fundraising events. In their first major fundraising effort together, they spent two weeks on two wheels, touring 98 Cancer Research UK shops and three of the charity’s research centres to raise money for the charity – covering a distance of 850 miles.

Last year they undertook the classic Three Peaks challenge climbing the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon), but with a twist – the couple cycled the 500 miles in between the mountains.

To find out more about Sue and Patrick’s 2019 challenge and to donate please click the link here: https://n2s4cruk.com/