A MOTHER’S devastating cancer has inspired her son to organise a coast-to-coast bike ride to help fund research into the disease.

Joanna Lishman, 49, of Haxby, who is a York community midwifery sister, is on her fourth and potentially final type of chemotherapy treatment at York Hospital for metastatic breast cancer, said her husband Graham. “Her prognosis is very poor,” he said.

The couple’s 13-year-old son, Joel, and his friend, John Docherty, 14, who both attend All Saints RC School, are now planning to cycle 170 miles along the Way Of The Roses, from Morecambe to Bridlington, over three days during the Spring Bank Holiday half-term.

Graham, of Sandringham Close, said Joel and John decided to do the ride to raise awareness both of the condition and the need for more research into finding a cure.

Joel, who has never cycled long distances before, said: “My mum’s life is now only as long as the drugs can hold off the cancer, but this doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. Please dig deep and help us to raise awareness of this devastating illness by going to justgiving.com/Joel-Lishman”

Joanna, who for many years has led a team of 14 midwives in the heart of the city, providing maternity care to many thousands of women, has spoken of her pride at the venture, which was Joel’s own initiative.

“This is an inspiring thing to do, and I’m so proud of Joel for setting out on such a challenge to raise awareness of breast cancer,” she said. “They have been training hard, but it is still inspiring for two young boys to be doing this for breast cancer.

“I’m really delighted for them and for all the other women whose lives will be lengthened in the future by the boys’ efforts today.

“It’s been heartening the amount of support they have managed to mobilise in the community and especially within their school, All Saints.”

The pair have set an initial fundraising target of £1,500 but hope to exceed this. John is a member of the Clifton Cycling Club but Joel has never cycled long distances before.

York Press: The Press - Comment

An inspiring act

FEW things are more devastating for a 13-year-old than finding your mum is desperately ill.

When Joel Lishman learned about his mum Joanna’s breast cancer, however, he was determined to do something.

Despite never having ridden long-distance before, he is planning to cycle 170 miles coast-to-coast with his friend, John Docherty. They aim to raise at least £1,500, as well as increase awareness about cancer.

“I’m so proud of Joel,” said Joanna, a community midwife, today. “This is an inspiring thing to do.”

So it is. Well done, Joel. Our thoughts will be with you all the way.

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