Florist Cresta Cummings, 49, is originally from Bonsall and now lives in Derby, but on Saturday, August 6, her sights will be set firmly on the Tissington Trail as she attempts to pedal ten miles for Myeloma UK.
Cresta said: “It’s going to be a challenge. I haven’t been on a bike for 20 years and I’ve got arthritis as well, I walk with a crutch normally. I’m not too good on my bones but I’ve got an exercise bike in the kitchen. We’ve got to raise money for this charity.”
In 2017, Cresta was diagnosed with myeloma, a cancer affecting her bone marrow, following routine blood tests for an unrelated condition.
Although there is currently no cure, it is a disease which often can be managed and suppressed for long periods.
In Cresta’s case, it progressed to the point where more serious intervention was required last year.
She said: “I had a lot of chemotherapy and lost all my hair. I went through it all in lockdown, including two stem cell transplants in Nottingham where I was completely on my own. It’s the hardest fight I have ever had.
“My hair is growing back now. I have to take tablets which give me a low dose of chemotherapy but I feel like I’ve come to terms with it.”
She added: “ I just want to raise funds and awareness because a lot of people get diagnosed too late for treatment.
“Others go years not knowing what the future holds, whether their treatment has been successful or how long they’ve got left.”
With four adult children by her side, Cresta will not be alone in her two-wheeled battle this summer.
She said: “All my kids will be doing it too, and the two oldest grandchildren who are 12 and eight. Together with friends and other family, there will be about 15 of us.”
Among them will be Cresta’s sisters Janet Slater and Debbie Ryder, who have already set up a collection tin at the Hurst Farm Social Club. Other donations have already started coming in via an online fundraising page.
Cresta said: “It’s fantastic. There are people on there who have donated who I don’t even know. It means a lot.”
To add to her total, go to https://bit.ly/3kd3fUa.