RAF Marham serviceman on track to cycle 3,500km in under 100 days for children’s Dreamflight charity

A serviceman has almost reached his goal of cycling 3,500km in under 100 days while on tour in Afghanistan to raise money for a charity which helps seriously ill and terminally ill children.

Sgt Taff Hibbs, 44, who lives in the Dereham area, has nearly reached his �3,500 target for Dreamflight, which helped his step-daughter Bethany Skipper, 16, who has cancer.

The teenager was one of 192 youngsters who were flown to Disney World, Florida, by Dreamflight, in October 2010 where she spent 10 days at the attraction.

Bethany, who is studying for her GCSEs at Fakenham High School, said: 'It was incredible.'

Sgt Hibbs, who has been based at RAF Marham for five years, arrived in Afghanistan for a four month tour on Jan 30, when he started his cycling challenge.

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Despite sometimes working 14 hours a day he has managed to cycle about 31 miles each day on an exercise bike. He is due to complete the gruelling fundraiser today.

His wife Hayley Hibbs, 42, mother of Bethany, said: 'He has done amazingly well.'

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Bethany added: 'I think he is crazy because he is already doing lots out there. I would never be able to do that many miles.'

The teenager was first diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma on Christmas Eve 2009.

Just three days before Sgt Hibbs was deployed to Afghanistan his step-daughter relapsed for a third time.

Mrs Hibbs said: 'Taff is more worried about us back here compared to what is happening out there in Afghanistan. As a parent it is your worst nightmare for your child to be so ill.'

But she added that Bethany did not let the cancer get in her way.

The teenager wants to complete a childcare course at City Collge, Norwich, and become a play specialist with children.

A music fundraiser on Friday organised by the Norwich Mods Scooter Club raised just over �112 and a recent Foot-loose dance club event at Dereham Memorial Hall raised just over �1,000.

The modern jive group will be hosting another dance night at Dereham Memorial Hall, in Norwich Street, partly for Dreamflight on Saturday, June 9 from 8pm to 11pm.

Tickets cost �7 for members, �8 for non members or �8 on the door. Contact Adele Clayton for more information by ringing 01362 851767.

To donate to Sgt Hibbs visit www.justgiving.com/Taff-Hibbs or text TAFF48 and the amount you wish to give to 70070.

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