A CONSULTANT working at Airedale Hospital completed a 500 kilometre charity bike ride, despite only seriously taking up cycling earlier this year.

Dr Chris Healey, 53, raised more than £5,000 for the blood cancer charity Bloodwise, by cycling from London to Paris in just four days with his 24-year-old son Joseph.

They were inspired to do this arduous challenge together by the experience of Dr Healey's mother-in-law, Valerie Tansley, who was being treated for non-hodgkin lymphoma.

She was diagnosed over two and a half years ago, but her condition became much more aggressive last year and she underwent an intensive course of chemotherapy.

Sadly, Mrs Tansley died only five days before Dr Healey and his son set off on their ride last month. (Sept)

Dr Healey said: "This made our journey poignant and all the more important." He described Mrs Tansley as a lovely woman and "the caring glue of our family".

He added: "On the ride over the four days, we made firm friends with many of the other cyclists sharing the trip – 200 in all.

"Hopefully the work of the charity, Bloodwise, will help improve the treatment of these blood cancers making it kinder to patients and more effective.

"I'm delighted that with the last few donations we have now topped £5,000. Thanks to all our generous sponsors!"

Dr Healey lives in Steeton and is a consultant gastroenterologist. He and his son had originally hoped to raise a total of over £2,000.

In June he was able to get his fundraising off to a celebrity start by meeting the Calendar Girls at Burnsall for a photoshoot.

These women shot to fame in 1999 after producing a nude calendar to raise money for Leukaemia Research under the auspices of the Women's Institute. They remain staunch supporters of the cause of Leukaemia Research.

During the cycle ride Dr Healey and his son, a former Ermysteds student who graduated earlier this year from London University, cycled alongside other riders who were riding in aid of the same charity.

They set off from Eltham Palace, in south east London, heading first for Dover, before taking the ferry to Calais. They then rode to Paris via Abbeville and Beauvais, finishing in style on a sunny Sunday afternoon at the Champs-Élysées.

Dr Healey, who is a founding member of the hospital-based running club the Airedale Dodgers, trained for the event by doing part of the Tour de Yorkshire Sportif, as well as two 100 kilometre rides.

People can still boost his fundraising total by visiting justgiving.com/joe-chrisbike2paris2017 to donate.