Cycling more than 360km across Cuba in just five days would be challenging for most people, but for 71-year-old Catherine Hancox it will be doubly difficult.
The semi-retired psychotherapist from Collyweston has been suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), which causes persistent exhaustion, for four years.
Although a regular cyclist and runner in her younger years, Catherine expects to find the journey across Cuba very challenging.
She has signed up for the sponsored ride to raise funds for the Genesis Research Trust, which funds medical research and teaching in the field of gynaecology, obstetrics and related fields in paediatrics.
Catherine who moved to Collyweston with husband William two years ago, said: “I had been feeling unwell for some time before CFS was diagnosed. I had a loss of energy, immense tiredness and no strength. I’m still affected by it now but I can cycle and I’m determined to complete the challenge for a cause which is very close to my heart.
“A niece of mine has had problems with infertility and miscarriages and, through my work as a nurse and later a psychotherapist I know the devastating effect they can have on women.”
Christina, who has an adult son, believes her CFS was bought on by a combination of tooth infections, an overgrowth of the yeast Candida Albicans in her body, and a thyroid problem.
She added: “I’m determined to get over it. I’m not going to let it beat me and I am not giving up.
“I enjoy travelling and my husband was an engineering consultant so we have lived in the Far East and Middle East – but I have never been to Cuba and so am excited about the ride.”
The ride is due to take place in October next year. To take part, Catherine needs to raise £3,500 in sponsorship.
To donated, visit www. justgiving.com/fundraising/Catherine-Cuba