When Jo Thompson’s mum, June Slaney, passed away in 2005 from ovarian cancer, aged just 62, Jo and her family were devastated. Jo’s mum didn’t know the warning signs of ovarian cancer and was diagnosed at a late stage, which came as a complete shock to her family.
Having witnessed her mum’s battle with cancer, Jo is passionate about raising awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and supporting cancer charities where she can. Next year will mark Jo’s fifth consecutive year of taking part in Women V Cancer’s Ride the Night event, which raises money for three invaluable women’s cancer charities: Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action.
Jo explains: “Not having my mum around has had a major impact on my life, especially being an only-child, but I know she’d be very proud of me for doing Ride the Night each year. The event is so unique and it’s a thrill to take part, as the route takes you past famous London landmarks. I particularly enjoy cycling past Buckingham Palace every year and crossing the line always feels like such an achievement.
“I’ve had huge support from my friends and family and this year, my friend, Sharon Coldrick, will be cycling with me. We’re going to fundraise as much as we can and as part of that, we’re planning to cycle for six hours together in our local supermarket by the end of this year.”
Jo’s husband, Andy, will also be taking part in the event, volunteering as a ‘Ride Maker’. Andy will be providing essential maintenance support and helping to fix any technical issues that arise with bikes.
With excitement building for the 2018 event, Jo has already planned her outfit.
She adds: “As we’re fundraising for women’s cancer charities, the colour has to be pink! I’m also accessorising my bike with lights and pink pom-poms.”
Over the last four years, thousands of women have cycled through London at night and raised almost £5 million for the Women V Cancer charities. Find out more about Ride the Night here.