Teenagers prepare to embark upon bikeathon to support Big C

Hannah Watson 15, left and Emily Robinson, 16, have organised a 35 mile bike ride on the 16th April,

Hannah Watson 15, left and Emily Robinson, 16, have organised a 35 mile bike ride on the 16th April, from Norwich to Wroxham via Aylsham to raise money for the Big C. Both have connections with cancer; Emily lost her grandad while Hannah's has just beaten prostate cancer. Hannah is from Skeyton and Emily is from Hevingham. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A pair of teenagers are preparing to put their bodies to the test for a good cause in the spring.

Emily Robinson, of Hevingham, and Hannah Watson, of Skeyton, are putting themselves through a gruelling 35-mile bicycle road to raise funds for cancer charity The Big C, after both seeing their families affected by the disease. In October, 16-year-old Emily lost her grandfather, just two weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Hannah, 15, also experienced the effects it can have, when her grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer last May, though he was cleared in November.

The pair have now planned a fundraising bikeathon to take place on April 16, which will see them cycle from Norwich to Aylsham on Marriot's Way, then from Aylsham to Wroxham alongside the Bure Valley Railway.

Hannah said: 'Everybody is affected by cancer in some way, which is why it is so important that there are charities like The Big C to help them.'

Emily added: 'When my grandfather was going through it, it was such a shock. It all happened so quickly and it was very tough and none of us expected it.'

It was through sharing their experiences with one another that the pair decided to take on the challenge.

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Emily said: 'It's very difficult to speak to other people about it, especially those who haven't yet been affected, so we found ourselves talking and decided to do something to help.'

Hannah added: 'When you read about what The Big C does, it's incredible.

'When I found out that my grandfather had the all-clear it was an amazing feeling and we want to raise money to help the charity make sure more people can have this feeling.'

The Aylsham High School pupils' plans have been met with surprise from form tutors and their netball coaches, but the girls have no fear going into what will be a gruelling challenge.

Hannah said: 'I think the ride will be the easiest bit -it will be fun. The hard part will be raising the money and awareness we want to.'

Patrick Stringer, Hannah's 75-year-old grandfather, said: 'The girls are doing such a great thing and it has all been their own idea. They saw a chance to help a great cause and have taken it.

'When I was being treated The Big C were great at alleviating my fears and doubts and do such great things.

'I think it will be harder than they think though; I couldn't bike two miles without getting a sore bottom - let alone 35.'

To help Emily and Hannah beat their £200 target, visit their JustGiving page.

Do you have a fundraising story? Email details to locallife@archant.co.uk