French bike challenge helps boost support for St Albans brain tumour family

Nhance Directors Paul Flack and Peter Flowers, Financial Planner Adam Flack and Practice Manager Mic

Nhance Directors Paul Flack and Peter Flowers, Financial Planner Adam Flack and Practice Manager Michelle King with Chad Martindale and mum Sharron Brunton - Credit: Archant

They burned off thousands of calories as they cycled hundreds of kilometres through France.

And as those numbers racked up, so too did the donations for a St Albans family that has been dealt a double blow after a second child suffered a brain tumour.

Kind-hearted St Albans locals have rallied to help raise over £5,000 for the family of plucky Sandringham School pupil Chad Martindale, 13.

Last year, just five years after his older sister Tilly was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour, Chad started noticing similar symptoms.

A malignant tumour has since been removed from his brain and having undergone radiotherapy, Chad is currently being treated with chemotherapy.

Tilly, who was diagnosed in 2008, had 90 per cent of her brain tumour removed and the remainder cauterised. The qualified nurse continues to have yearly scans.

Staff from nhance Independent, a financial advice firm of Cottonmill Lane, are among a team of eight who have recently returned from a charity bike ride in France that was organised to help the family.

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The siblings’ mum, Sharron Brunton, has worked for nhance as its office cleaner for about a decade.

Practice manager Michelle King, who helped organise the two-day-long ride, said the 300km route included biking through Paris, over cobblestones and at the velodrome in Roubaix.

She said the first 144km were interesting as they discovered their trip to Amiens coincided with a national holiday in France and meant there was hardly any traffic on the roads.

Michelle said the cyclists “climbed 2,423ft and burned approx 6,098 calories” in the first day alone, undeterred by pouring rain during the afternoon.

She added: “As I drifted off to sleep that night all I could hear was the distant whirring of hair dryers as the cyclists were trying to dry out their gear for the following morning.”

The next day, despite a few near misses with lorries and several punctures, the determined cyclists carried on to the velodrome in Roubaix, having covered a further 165kms, climbed 2,182ft and burned an impressive 6,684 calories.

Michelle said: “We would really like to thank those who have taken the time to write in and donate to Chad’s trust. It’s great to see the local community are so caring and generous.”

She thanked local businesses which also contributed to the charity ride by supplying or sponsoring a support van, water, logo, shirts and bike storage space.