An employee of pest control specialist Pelsis Group is cycling 550 miles from the Netherlands to the company’s Knaresborough headquarters to fundraise in memory of a former colleague.
Sales manager Chris Rodgers is undertaking the challenge to help raise funds for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), which former Pelsis employee Derek Hurst passed away from in 2019 aged 49.
Named the Tour de Derek, the 13-day challenge will see Rodgers cycle from Pelsis’s office in Barneveld, the Netherlands, via its office in Bornem, Belgium, all the way to the company’s headquarters in Knaresborough.
All funds raised from the challenge will be split equally between the Cure CJD Campaign and St Teresa’s Hospice in Darlington, where Derek was cared for following his diagnosis.
CDJ is a terminal degenerative brain disorder which there is currently no cure for. Derek was diagnosed with the disease in the summer of 2019 before passing away in September 2019.
The 550-mile Tour de Derek will comprise 11 legs in total, taking in the cities and towns of Den Bosch, Antwerp, Gent and Ypres in Belgium and Calais in France. Chris will also cycle through Rochester, Duxford, Peterborough, Lincoln and Doncaster, before finally reaching Knaresborough.
“Not only was Derek my colleague, but he was also my mentor and my friend. To be able to undertake this sporting challenge in memory of him is truly an honour," said Rodgers. “Since Derek’s passing, it’s always been my intention to raise vital funds for the Cure CJD Campaign to help develop a treatment for cure for CDJ and increase awareness and understanding of the disease"
"I also wanted to fundraise for the brilliant team who cared for Derek at St Teresa’s Hospice in Darlington to support them in continuing to care to those in need," said Rodgers. "I’m already extremely grateful for all the support and donations I’ve received from the Pelsis team, and look forward to seeing how much we can raise for these two worthy causes.”
For more information on how to donate to Chris’s Tour de Derek cycling challenge visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/raising-funds-in-memory-of-derek-hurst.