Husband of woman with leukaemia cycling to fund trip to Disneyland Paris
THE husband of a woman with leukaemia is hoping to raise enough money to take her and their two young children to Disneyland Paris.
Mum-of-two Sam Lander Stow, aged 34, was tested for glandular fever at the end of December. But on New Year's Eve, the Ivybridge couple were told Sam had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia – a rare form of cancer that only affects around 2,000 people every year in the UK.
Her husband Richard, who told The Herald of his family's "terrifying" journey in January, has since been trying to raise money for Sam to allow her to carry out one of her dreams – taking the children to EuroDisney by train.
His next mission is to complete his own triathlon challenge.
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Richard said: "I'm going to swim from Bigbury to Mothecombe, cycle 125-miles around Dartmoor and then do a marathon across Dartmoor, all in two days."
He explained how the family were trying to get the best out of a horrible situation. "To that end we thought we would start a project to raise awareness of how cancer can affect you and your family as well as raising money for important cancer charities.
"If we can also sideline a small amount to give my wife the holiday that she has been yearning for ever since we started a family then that would be absolutely awesome.
"To be able to raise the money for this holiday would be a huge light at the end of the tunnel for Sam," said Richard.
"It really would give her something to focus on in the face of another eight weeks in hospital."
Richard launched a campaign on crowd-funding website Indiegogo, with the aim of raising £2,000 by the end of this month. The campaign works by offering those who donate something in return, which Richard has decided will be a book about Sam's journey with cancer and a T-shirt.
He has so far raised £1,155, around £400 of which will go towards taking Sam and the children to EuroDisney, and the rest going to Macmillan, Cancer Research UK and the Plymouth and District Leukaemia Fund (PDLF).
But if Richard does not hit his £2,000 target, all the money he has raised so far will return to those who have donated.
Since Sam's diagnosis she has undergone several bouts of chemotherapy and lost her hair at the end of January.
"I shaved my head before Sam did to show my support," said Richard.
"And then myself and Evie, our daughter, helped shave Sam's head in her hospital bed. We ordered Sam some really nice head scarves too and she looks stunning in them.
"Everyone is saying how good Sam looks. She has a blonde wig too which looks fantastic."
Sam was told at the end of January that she was in remission and had responded to treatment well. She was allowed home for a few days at the end of January and then readmitted at the beginning of February for further chemotherapy.
"Although the doctors can't see the cancer, we know it's still there," said Richard. "There will never be a cure."
Sam is now coming to the end of her second bout of chemotherapy and is hoping to be allowed home at the end of the week.
"We are just really hoping that she will be home for Mother's Day," said Richard.
During the first week of next month Richard hopes to launch his swimming, cycling and running effort, which he is calling My Challenge, in aid of either the PDLF or Macmillan.
To donate visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/327314/