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Family tragedy prompts Paris-London ride

Sponsored trip will commemorate deceased brother and sister

A Kent man whose family life has been blighted by blood cancer is to cycle from Paris to London in aid of Leukaemia Research.

Three of David Payne's siblings have been affected with various cancer-related illness, prompting his decision to do the ride next month. It is timed to coincide with Leukaemia Research's 50th anniversary and will conclude at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital.

David, who works as a gardener in Broadstairs, tragically lost two of his siblings to blood cancers.

In 1966, his sister Katie was just four years old when she was diagnosed with leukaemia. She died in 1969, aged seven.

His family was struck again when David’s brother Simon was diagnosed with another blood cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Simon lost his fight against the disease in 1995, at the age of 35.

David’s younger sister Liz was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1990, aged 23, but after a year of treatment and a further 15 years of monitoring, she has made a full recovery.

David, a gardener from Broadstairs, told yourthanet: “I wanted to do this challenge so that in the future no other family has to go through what my family has gone through.

“For it to have happened once is bad enough, but for it to have happened three times is almost incomprehensible.”

“The fact that Leukaemia Research is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year really makes you realise how much there is still to do.

“We’re still trying to find answers and if medical advances are to continue then we need to fund the vital research that the charity provides.”

David will ride approximately 50 miles per day, using a mountain bike converted for touring. All luggage for the trip will be carried on the bike.

The final 50 miles will follow the same route that Ihe walked aged 13, with two friends, in 1972, for the same charity. On that occasion he raised over £300.

To support David on his cycling adventure and help him to raise vital funds in the fight against blood cancers, visit his website at

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