Four local women who took on the challenge of a lifetime 7,000 miles from home in aid of a UK charity have returned home triumphant.
The friends cycled 405 kilometres from Vietnam to Cambodia to raise over £12,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care, the charity which provides free professional nursing care to the terminally ill at home.
Now the cash generated by Petra McMillan, of Carnoustie, Brenda Hally, of Monifieth, and Jenni Samson and Josie Johnston, both of Broughty Ferry, will be used in this postcode area to directly ‘buy’ 600 hours of care for individuals with a range of terminal diagnoses who want to spend their last days at home.
Petra, a patron for Marie Curie Cancer Care, praised her friends and, on behalf of the group, thanked their many supporters who helped make their ambition a reality.
She said: “The girls were just amazing. This is a tough challenge and each of us struggled at various points but we dug deep and pushed on.
“Knowing we had the support of so many people back home kept us going. Our family and friends became our fifth team-mate.”
Petra, Brenda, Jenni and Josie - who train together at David Lloyd in Monifieth - joined 43 other cyclists from all corners of the UK for the Asian adventure.
Starting in Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam on January 20, the group endured 5 a.m. roll calls, spent up to eight hours a day in the saddle and covered up to 57 miles at a time.
Daily temperatures topped 30 degrees Celsius and with much of the trek off-road, the group battled with testing conditions which, at different times, saw each of them suffer a fall.
By the time they crossed the line at Angkor Wat on January 24, they had raised an incredible £167,811 for Marie Curie Cancer Care in the UK, with more cash still coming in.
But far from resting on their laurels the foursome are already back in training and have their sights set on a new adventure in 2017.
Though its still at the planning stage, the girls hope to be part of a Marie Curie team which will cycle from Costa Rica to Nicaragua in Central America.
If anyone has been inspired by the group’s endeavours and is considering a challenge of their own, more details are available via www.mariecurie.org.uk or you can e-mail local charity patron Petra at firstname.lastname@example.org