Vienna to Budapest and surprise letter from Prime Minister Theresa May – Sally’s Story

I have been a Midwife now for over 32 years, of which I’ve worked in the local community for the last 28. I love my job with a passion, and have looked after many women over the years who have mostly had amazing experiences, but occasionally, when things go wrong, it’s devastating.

I am lucky enough to have 3 healthy children. Harry, now 25, Daisy 18 and Holly 14. Trying to have them was a very long, sad road, as I struggled with fertility, but also had 5 miscarriages along the way; and my littlest, Holly was born 5 weeks early. My best friend Gill, was with me through and through, consoling me through the miscarriages, and the monthly disappointment, when my period came, and I was also lucky enough to have her there to deliver 2 out of my 3 children.

Sadly, 5 years ago, at the age of 54, she died after a 17 month battle against Ovarian cancer. I miss her every day. When a flyer came through my door suggesting I “Cycle Cuba” for Genesis Research Trust, who raise money for research into Stillbirths, multiple miscarriages, Premature births and ovarian cancer, well, I couldn’t say no, could I?

I asked the local paper to do a small article on my cycle, to try and raise money, but what I got was a half page article, prompting lots of the mums I’d previously looked after to donate to the fund. They were so so generous, and the messages incredibly humbling. Cycling Cuba was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I met so many wonderful people, who had been through awful times. It’s therapeutic actually feeling that you are doing something to be able to help, so people in the future are hopefully less likely to go through these things, thanks to the research done by the Genesis Trust.

The Vienna to Budapest cycle was also AWESOME! It was a small group, which was so lovely as we all got to know each other well. I laughed soooo much throughout the cycle. SO much fun! The scenery was amazing and the company was the best, as well as knowing we were doing something fantastic for the charity.

Much to my surprise, I even recently received a letter from Theresa May appreciating my fundraising and cycling for Genesis!  I am guessing that she got in touch following an article our local paper did on me in September. She is our local MP. I got home from work and was totally shocked but amazed to receive the letter! How fantastic to get a letter of thanks like that!

So, to anyone contemplating doing something like this; GO FOR IT! life is too short not to! Each time, I sign up on my own, and it’s never a problem. The cycle is broken down nicely into little achievable chunks of about 15-20km with 2 breaks, lunch, last chunk then done. You tend to just think of how long until the next stop, so you don’t think of the task of 80 miles in a day; then suddenly it’s done!

I am so looking forward to the next challenge, Argentina to Chile! I’ve met a few of the women doing it at the information day, and they all seem lovely. Can’t wait for the camaraderie, the laughs, the brilliant support, and the achievement of doing it, and raising the money!!