Choir members plan 250-mile bike ride for Bronglais Chemo Appeal

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After a two-year delay, farmer Iestyn Meddins and his fellow Côr Meibion ​​Machynlleth members are embarking on a mammoth 250-mile bike ride this month to raise funds for the Bronglais Chemo appeal.

Iestyn, 45, is organizing Le Tour de Côr to support his wife Dr. Elin Jones, substitute consultant oncologist at Hôpital Bronglais and clinical manager of the planned new chemotherapy day unit.

And among the participating cyclists is Mallwyd farmer Geraint Morgans, who was treated by Dr Elin after being admitted to Bronglais Hospital, 37, with suspected appendicitis but bowel cancer.

The 29 cyclists will set off on the four-day trek from Holyhead on Wednesday 17e August, ending in Cardiff on Saturday 20e, where they will be welcomed on the steps of the Senedd by the President, Elin Jones MS, whose constituency includes the hospital.

The majority of participants will be members of the Machynlleth-based male choir, but there will also be friends and relatives along for the ride.

Iestyn, who is the president of the choir, said: “We are all two years older after having to cancel the ride in 2020 due to the pandemic, but we are still very excited to take on the challenge.

“Living with Dr El, I could see how much the staff wanted a purpose-built chemotherapy unit because they really care about how patients are treated during their cancer journey.

“We will be grateful for any donation to the cause; you will make a huge difference to cancer patients in Mid Wales.

Bikers have already raised £13,000 for the appeal and hope to double that amount. You can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/iestynmeddins

Iestyn, who lives in Penygoes, near Machynlleth, added: ‘I have been overwhelmed with donations so far and offers of help, including many refreshments along the way.

The group hopes to average about 65 miles a day, much of it off-road on National Cycle Route 8.

The route will take them from Holyhead to Porthmadog on the 17th; Porthmadog at Staylittle on the 18th; Staylittle in Brecon on the 19the; and the last day, Saturday 20efrom Brecon to Cardiff.

Geraint, father of three children. said: “It’s been almost seven years since I was admitted to Bronglais Hospital with what I thought was appendicitis, only to find I had a perforated tumour. After an operation, I needed chemotherapy under the care of Dr. Elin and started the journey. I look back and think it was a perilous time, but a time when my life was saved.

“I was given the green light and life a full and happy life. I have a huge debt to the chemotherapy unit in Bronglais, so it’s a very small thing for me to get on my bike and to cycling from Holyhead to Cardiff I just hope I can do it.

Dr Elin said: “It is also wonderful to see the passion and effort of the choir members, those who ride the bikes and those who offer practical and financial support. I’m so proud of all of them, but especially my husband. I want to personally thank Iestyn, who is a natural prankster, because without him I wouldn’t have the strength to do the job I do.

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