On 23 May, CAFOD Supporter Anne Wilkinson will be taking part in the 3 Cities Cycle Challenge, which takes her from London through Essex, catching a ferry to Amsterdam, before pedalling south through the Netherlands and Belgium to the finish line in Brussels. In all, she’ll be riding over 300 miles, through three countries, in only four days. Here, Anne tells us why she’s making such an incredible journey to help CAFOD’s work:
“I’m very much involved in my church (Our Lady of Sorrows R C Church in Paddington) and that’s how I came across CAFOD and its beautiful work that brings hope & compassion to those in poverty.
I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and have lived in London for the past nine years. I come from a quite privileged background compared to others living in Brazil but always have been surrounded by poverty and suffering.
I was born with a heart condition and went through a major surgery when I was 4 years old, it was a very difficult time for me and my family at the time as we all know the low standards of healthcare in Brazil. But I’ve not only survived but every doctor that has treated me says how incredibly lucky I was. And I always reply that it wasn’t luck but a given chance from a higher power and the question is how do I give back to others that same chance I had?
I believe that the more we are able to give of our talents, skills and time to a cause in which we believe, the more others will connect with us. These connections in all their forms and complexity enrich our lives for the duration.
I’ve started training as well. I had intended to cycle 40 miles from London to Kent last weekend, but because of the lovely weather I ended up going to Southend instead, which was a great but very difficult 52 miles in four hours, with no stops.
I’d like to thank everyone that have already sponsored me and believe in my humble task in special the parishioners of Our Lady of Sorrows church, Father Charbel, Finatal Group and Our Lady of Dolour’s RC Primary School for all your support.
I know this challenge will be enormous but so will the gratification of knowing that CAFOD will use that money to help so many others who need one small chance. It’s what will push me forward!
For those that wish to sponsor me and give someone a chance, please donate through this site: http://www.doitforcharity.com/awilkinson.”
If you fancy using your bike to make a difference for CAFOD a little closer to home, Pedal Against Poverty 2012, CAFOD Westminster’s annual sponsored cycle ride in the Lee Valley Country Park, North London, is coming up on Sunday, 27 May 2012. Riders can choose between a 10 and 18 mile return route, with both routes converging for a picnic lunch at the ride’s midway point in Broxbourne.
For more information on the ride and to register, visit cafod.org.uk/pedalagainstpoverty.