ON September 10th, Chloe Oldfield would have been celebrating her 18th birthday.
The Barnoldswick teenager tragically passed away in February last year after a three-year battle against cancer.
To mark her birthday, five of Chloe’s loved ones, including her mum and auntie, are preparing to tackle a 170-mile coast-to-coast bike ride and raise money for Barnoldswick and Earby Bosom Friends.
Before she died, Chloe selected the cancer support group as one of her chosen charities to benefit from any fund-raising done in her name.
Chloe’s auntie Sharon Hurst who has organised the ride explained: “Chloe was helped and supported by a number of charities during her illness and she was keen that they be recognised after her death.
“Bosom Friends really are a fantastic charity group and we are hoping to raise as much money for them as possible. They helped Chloe in many ways, contributing to a surprise 15th birthday party for her, giving her some money for a shopping trip for new clothes when she had lost weight due to treatment and none of her clothes fitted her any more, and also contributing towards a trip to London and New York.
“These were very special occasions for Chloe and her family and meant a great deal as we now have some fantastic memories to remember her by.
“When I inherited Chloe’s bike I really thought I should put it to some use and so the idea of the charity bike ride was born.”
Team Chloe will be riding the Way of the Roses route from Morecambe to Bridlington on the Yorkshire coast, passing through Lancaster, Ingleton, Settle, Grassington, Ripon and York over the course of Chloe’s birthday weekend. Sharon and Chloe’s mum Catherine, along with Lorna Hargreaves from Trawden, Anita Emmott from Colne and Kate Hartley from Barnoldswick, have been training hard for the challenge and hope to collect as many sponsors as possible.
Chloe was first diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma, a very rare and aggressive form of liver cancer, aged just 12.
The Skipton Girls’ High School pupil underwent a gruelling course of chemotherapy at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
When her liver started to fail towards the end of treatment, Chloe was placed on a waiting list for a transplant at St James’ Hospital, Leeds.
Nine weeks later a suitable liver was found and following the transplant Chloe seemed to improve.
Sadly in July 2008 X-rays showed shadows on her lungs and shortly after she was also diagnosed with a brain tumour, after which a second was found.
Doctors gave Chloe just six months to live but the brave teenager battled on for 18 months.
Despite enduring repeated radiotherapy sessions and a daily cocktail of drugs, Chloe was insistent that each day should be lived to the full.
She continued her studies and achieved As in RE and ICT GCSEs.
Sharon said: “Chloe was incredibly brave and beautiful and was a true inspiration to everyone who knew her.”
The group has said a big thank you to some local businesses that have already offered sponsorship.
Windles Funeral Services has agreed to transport the cyclists to and from the start and finish of the ride. Other sponsors include Barnoldswick Cricket Club, Bricon Builders, Decisions Decisions, Donald Speak & Son, Ego Hair & Beauty, McParland and Partners, Neal Creasy, Pennine Tools, Rolls-Royce Retired Employees Association, Skipton Building Society, Windle & Bowker, Whitemoor Riding Stables. Pettys Estate Agents, Stanley House Vets and XLCR Vehicle Management Ltd.
Anyone wanting to support Team Chloe can email Sharon at email@example.com or Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org