Myfanwy has taken part in numerous Women V Cancer events over the last few years, enjoying unforgettable experiences and making lifelong friends along the way. Although the challenges often seemed daunting, the strength and determination her mum showed during her cancer treatment has been a source of inspiration for Myfanwy.
"I’ve been involved with Women V Cancer since taking part in the first Ride the Night in May 2014. I signed up for the event, much to the surprise of friends and family, as I didn’t have a bike and hadn’t actually been on one since I was 12! Shortly after signing up for it, my mum was diagnosed with primary peritoneal cancer, which is linked to ovarian cancer and treated in the same way.
So began my cycling journey and Mum’s cancer treatment. She lived in Wales but had to be treated in London and moved in with me while undergoing treatment. She was always encouraging and took great interest in my training rides and was happy to knit a pair of leg warmers or glove liners for me.
I also signed up for Cycle Africa, not knowing anyone, and before taking part in the first Ride the Night in 2014. I met a lovely group of ladies at the Information Day and we became the Glue Crew; our motto was to stick together through thick and thin. I was a bit daunted about the fundraising target but didn’t dwell on it much - after all I had 18 months! But how fast can 18 months fly when there is a fundraising target to be met, together with organising kit, injections, visas and training. Not forgetting taking part in my second Ride the Night 2015.
I started fundraising with a cake sale at work then an Easter egg raffle and a quiz night, handing out sponsor forms to family with a big smile. I was anxious about getting to target but I kept chipping away at the fundraising. Then off I went to Tanzania to camp in the Masai and cycle 350km through tough terrain in searing heat. It was a fantastic experience and I made lifelong friends. We shared tears, laughter and lots of stories. We helped each other get through the bad days and celebrated the good days. When we received our medals at the Nogorgo Crater we were already talking about signing on to take part in Cycle Vietnam to Cambodia in 2017.
Mum was still staying with me and going through her second round of chemo. Looking after her and watching how she dealt with the anxiety of treatment, scans, endless medication - on top of the effects of chemo - only made me more determined and believe I could fundraise again for Women v Cancer.
So I signed up to cycle Vietnam to Cambodia and my third Ride the Night. My fundraising activities ranged from supermarket bag packing, to carboot sales, to a Rock and Roll bingo event, ( where I also sold bum bags and water bottles with the Women v Cancer logo on them). I teamed up with Sharon, who’d been my roomie in Africa to do some further fundraising together. Finally, my spin instructor organised a spin-a-thon, which pushed me to my fundraising target!
"Making lifelong friendships, sharing our stories, and encouraging each other every day with a smile and a wave."Myfanwy Kilgallon
I met a lovely group of ladies at the Cotswold training weekend known as the ‘Pink Lipstick Ladies’ and in February 2017 we set off to Vietnam and Cambodia to cycle 450km. It was a fabulous experience cycling through these two stunning countries. Again making lifelong friendships, sharing our stories, and encouraging each other every day with a smile and a wave. Cycling to Angkor Watt and receiving our medals is a memory I will always cherish.
That night we were told that Cycle India was being announced for 2018. I had already signed up for London to Paris for September 2018 but was so tempted by India. Sitting with the Pink Lipstick Ladies after a few Singapore Slings at the cocktail bar, next thing I knew I’d signed up!
So far my fundraising for these two events has involved a cake sale and dinner and dance for 100 people. It was daunting, but the hard work paid off and I raised just over £3,000. I asked for favours from friends and family for raffle and auction prizes and was overwhelmed by the generosity of their donations. I approached spas and beauty salons and went high street shops like M&S and Boots, showing them the letter confirming the charity and event I was raising money for. The charities have plenty of information and balloons, collection boxes, pin bages which are great for a display at events as well.
My mum sadly passed away in March last year, not long after I returned from Vietnam and Cambodia. I was able to show her photos and she knew I was taking part in Ride the Night 2017.
I was fortunate enough to visit the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre in October last year, coincidentally on Mum’s birthday, as we’d set up a tribute fund and raised over a £1,000, meaning that her name could be included on the Tribute Wall there. It was very interesting to hear from the director and the people who work there how the money that we raise supports their hard work. We really do make a difference."
Feeling inspired to take on a Women V Cancer challenge? Cycle alongside Myfanwy and thousands of other amazing group of women and take part in Ride the Night 2018!