Epic 260-mile cycle ride backing St Albans’ girl’s battle against tumours

A daring team of cyclists are due to conclude an epic 260-mile expedition today (Sunday, April 26) in aid of a little girl diagnosed with a genetic tumour-growing condition.

David Orchard, uncle of little Bessie Davis, 6, of Ladysmith Road in St Albans, rounded up the troops to join him on a challenging four-day cycle ride from Plymouth to the city.

Bessie, a pupil at Alban City School in Hatfield Road, was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) last summer – a condition that causes benign tumours to grow along her nerves.

More than £12,000 with Gift Aid has already been raised for the cause, with all funds going to Great Ormond Street Hospital - where Bessie currently undergoes chemotherapy treatment - and the Neuro Foundation.

Bessie’s family, mum Abby Orchard, dad Mike, little brother Ned, 2 and friends will welcome the riders at a Finish Fete, between 11.30am and 2pm today in Bessie’s school playground, with a BBQ, cakes, raffle and family games to raise awareness of NF1.

David, who Bessie calls ‘Uncle Dudu’, said before leaving on Friday: “I’ve been training whenever I can, even cycling the Great Ocean Road when I was on holiday in Australia recently, so hopefully we’ll make Bessie very proud!

“Bessie has also given us a special Bessie Bear teddy to take with us and we’re hoping that Bessie herself can join us in a bike trailer to cross the finish line.”

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To track Bessie Bear’s adventure on Twitter use @FollowBessie #FollowBessieBear and to donate visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/dudu08