A group of friends and colleagues will be cycling from coast to coast to raise money for their local cancer hospital in memory of loved ones.

Mat Frolish (35) and Carl Walshaw (36), along with twelve others, plan to pedal from Whitehaven in Cumbria on the west coast on Friday 19th September with hopes of reaching Sunderland on the east coast at in just three days.

The fundraisers, who have named their cycling challenge ‘The Big L’ in memory of Mat’s mother, Lynn, have poignant reasons for taking on the ride in support of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.

Weston Park Hospital is one of only four dedicated cancer hospitals in England and provides cancer care to a population of nearly 1.8million people from all across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire.

Mat’s mother, Lynne, who owned the infamous Lynne’s Pantry in Sheffield, was treated for a brain tumour at the hospital after initially being diagnosed with skin cancer in 2010. Sadly she lost her battle in November 2012. In her memory, Mat is keen to complete the challenge and support the Cancer Charity.

He said: “My mum was treated with the utmost care and attention during her time at Weston Park Hospital and although she passed away two years ago, I am eager to help make positive changes for cancer patients in the future.

“We want to highlight the important role the charity plays in funding crucial projects in the hospital for the benefit of thousands of patients across the region.”

The intended route of the ride will take the bikers through some of the most scenic areas of the country, from Whitehaven with its rich history and Georgian architecture, out into the picturesque countryside, up over the Pennines and down into Sunderland, with its mixture of heritage and modern design.

Travelling approximately 45 miles per day, the cyclists aim to arrive victoriously at their final destination on Sunday 21st September.

Fellow cyclist and father-of-two, Carl Walshaw, who works as a Production Manager at TGW Global, also wants to raise as much money as possible for the hospital where his brother Mark was treated. Sadly, Mark passed away at the age of 28 from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2003.

Carl said: “The ride will be a chance for me to raise money in memory of my brother and help raise as much money as possible so that cancer patients can continue to benefit from first-class treatment facilities.

“Unfortunately, Mark lost his battle with cancer, but hopefully by completing the ride in support of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, we will help other cancer sufferers to have a greater chance of survival, both now and in the future.”

Deputy Charity Director, Catherine Rhone, said: “The Big L riders are undertaking such a fantastic and testing challenge for us and we really appreciate their support.

“The money raised will make a big difference to the facilities available for the hospital’s patients and ultimately help to shape the future of cancer research and treatment at Weston Park Hospital.”

Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity is the only dedicated charity for the hospital and exists to support world-class cancer research and to improve the treatment and care for people living with cancer.

Throughout 2014, the charity is marking its 20th anniversary by funding a wide variety of projects for the hospital, including the completion of the new Clinical Research Unit and the Day Case refurbishment.

‘The Big L’ participants are Carl Walshaw, Mat Frolish, Richard Wolstenholme, Jerry Milner, Martin Weatherall, Mark James, James Bruce, Andrew Whitworth, Steve Corbett, Simon Priestnall, Guido Pastorelli John Cadman and Chris Beardshaw.

If you have been inspired by the challenge and would like to support the group’s fundraising efforts please visit their website at http://biglfundraising.com.s173325.gridserver.com/events/day-case-chemotherapy-unit

To join the Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity’s ‘Ride & Raise’ team and take on your own cycling challenge, visit www.rideandraise.org.uk.

For more information on Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity or to get involved, visit www.wphcancercharity.org.uk or call the charity office on 0114 226 5370.