Mark Button from Faversham will once again lead Team Ynez in Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge on Sunday 6 May 2018, in memory of his wife, Ynez, who was cared for at Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury.
Mark will cycle 45 miles across east Kent in memory of his wife, Ynez, who spent five weeks at the Canterbury hospice last spring.
Ynez couldn’t speak more highly of Pilgrims staff, says Mark: “During those five weeks Ynez was cared for with genuine love and compassion, for which we will all be forever grateful.
“She had been through such a tough few weeks prior to that, so to be in a place where the aim was to make her feel comfortable and alleviate the severe pain she was in was all she wanted. The hospice also provided amazing support to me and other family and friends who were going through such an emotional and worrying time.”
Mark signed up for Cycle Challenge 2017 three weeks before Ynez passed away. Within two days he had raised more than £1,000. Mark said: “Ynez was very clear that we should give back to the hospice. She was so elated to know that the hospice would get some well deserved funds to continue their great work.”
It was amazing! We felt elated to complete the challenge in memory of Ynez, but also to ride it together, united in our support of the amazing work carried out by the hospice and the care they had provided to Ynez and so many others.
It wasn’t long before others joined Mark. With seven members signed up and in training, Team Ynez was born. Mark admits he has never been a serious cyclist, and neither have his team mates, but the atmosphere of last year’s ride gave them all a boost.
“It was amazing!” recalls Mark. “We felt elated to complete the challenge in memory of Ynez, but also to ride it together, united in our support of the amazing work carried out by the hospice and the care they had provided to Ynez and so many others.
“It gave me a real lift at what was still a very emotional time for us. Everyone had their own personal reasons for being there, but the feeling of togetherness and camaraderie was something I’d never experienced before.”
The 2018 team currently has nine members, including Mark’s identical twin brother, Chas, and his nephew, Ollie. The team is based in different parts of the country, but Mark is optimistic it will all come together on the day.
It gave me a real lift at what was still a very emotional time for us. Everyone had their own personal reasons for being there, but the feeling of togetherness and camaraderie was something I’d never experienced before.
“Having done it before I can honestly say I’m excited and certainly more relaxed than last year. It’s such a well organised event that allows people of differing fitness and ability to join in. That said, the word challenge very much applies, so preparation is vital. I intend to keep taking part as long as my legs will allow me to.”
Mark added: “The generosity shown by family and friends last year was overwhelming. I can’t expect that same level again this year, but as a team we are still determined to raise a significant amount of money.”
A big Pilgrims thank you, team Team Ynez – and good luck! To sponsor the team for their ride on Sunday 6 May, visit Mark’s Just Giving page.
Want to sign up to this year’s Cycle Challenge? There’s still time! Click here for more information and to register today.