On Sunday 29 May, 11 wonderful riders took part in RideLondon in aid of Spread a Smile! The annual 100-mile bike ride around London and Essex involved over 15,000 participants. The funds raised by our Smile Heroes will help us to support seriously ill children in hospital.
The riders were: Jimmy Tsekoyras, Pagnagiotis Tsekoyras, Laurence Kidd, James Jacobs, Guy Shaul, Zack Case, Karo Bonas, Adam Diamant, Anthony Gubba, Alain Stechler and Dave Farrell.
One of our riders, Laurence Kidd, was inspired to ride following the support we gave his niece, Maisie. Maisie was born nine weeks prematurely and spent the first weeks of her life in SCU after it transpired she had suffered two significant brain haemorrhages. She unfortunately still suffers from many further health issues, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy and blindness. Now aged 18, she has spent a significant amount of her life in hospital.
We first met Maisie and her family during lockdown in 2020, and Laurence described the work we did as invaluable. As Maisie and her family lost their social life during lockdown restrictions and shielding, we were able to provide some normality and joy to their lives.
Not only did we support Maisie, we also helped her sister Poppy to engage with others, as she had to start home-schooling to protect her shielding sister.
Just before the race, Laurence said, ‘Doing events such as RideLondon is my way of repaying Spread a Smile for the work they have done to support my family over the pandemic. I do have quite a bit of cycling experience and previously completed the 50-mile ride. While this is the longest ride I will have done, I feel confident and ready. Most of all, I’m so excited to see my wife and son at the finish line on Tower Bridge, which is where I proposed!’
After the event, Laurence said he was sore but had an amazing day! He completed the 100-mile course in 6 hours and 23 minutes, which is a great achievement.
You can still donate to Laurence’s JustGiving page here.
Huge thanks from all of us at Spread a Smile to our team of cyclists for all the training and efforts on the big day; we are incredibly grateful.