The mother of England rugby union international Billy Twelvetrees is gearing up for a huge personal challenge.
Beverley Twelvetrees aims to cycle 140 miles from her Wisborough Green home to Gloucester, including steep hills in the Cotswolds, before watching Billy play for his club against Saracens on April 20.
She said: “In 2006 I suffered a brain tumour and was treated in Southampton. I’m extremely grateful to them for giving me the wonderful life I share today with my brilliant family, so now I want to help the Wessex Neurological Centre there.
“It provides acute, dedicated care for a wide range of conditions to patients from West Sussex and beyond, especially children, whose brain and spinal tumours don’t receive as much funding as other illnesses.
“That’s why I particularly want to raise funds to help the centre provide the best possible facilities. This is my chance to repay them. It’s the least I can do.
“As I’m 54, it will be one heck of a challenge – I’m not as fit as I used to be! I’ve always loved cycling, but the furthest I’ve ridden is about 10 miles.
“(Husband) Kevin and our four boys will be joining me for stages of the ride, which I plan to complete in four or five days. They don’t want to join me for the whole trip because I’m too slow for them, but I’ll be giving it my all to get there.”
Billy, who played rugby for Pulborough and Horsham as a youngster, told The District Post: “It was very difficult when Mum was ill because she’s the family lynch pin, but she’s a strong character with a very positive mind set.
“We’ll have a big welcoming party to greet her when she completes the ride, which I’m sure she will, and she’ll be interviewed on the pitch at half time. I hope that boosts her fundraising – she deserves it.
“At the club (Gloucester) we need to concentrate on our remaining programme to ensure we finish the season well, but if at all possible I’ll be accompanying Mum for part of the way.
“She was the driving force behind my career, taking me and my three brothers all over the place.
“We’re all so proud of her and she’s very close to our hearts. The whole family are rooting for her.”
Beverley added: “I’ve always had an ambition to do a huge bike ride, so I’ll be fulfilling that dream and if I don’t do it now perhaps I never will.
“I’m discussing other events with village organisations to see how else I might be able help the wonderful Smile4Wessex charity.
“It’s such a good cause, so I’d greatly appreciate any support that readers of The District Post can provide by going into my virginmoneygiving web page. There you can see more information about why I’m doing the ride and details of how to donate.”