Amelia and her Poppa Phil

Amelia Norcross’s story courtesy of Matt Lamy at Cycling Active

“Amelia was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on Friday 13, April 2007, when she was just three years old,” her granny Mary Waterworth said. “She was very, very poorly. We thought we were going to lose her twice, but we’re hugely grateful to Dr Rob Wynn and his staff at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. During that time she couldn’t walk for a while because the drugs were so strong, so she had to have physio.

“But she’s been in remission for coming up to three years now, which is very positive, although her balance and coordination isn’t very good. We thought that exercise is a very positive thing for someone who has had such a terrible disease, and we’ve been helping her physically and mentally to get more positive about recovery. So my husband Phil — Amelia’s Poppa — takes her out on the bike two or three times a week.

“They had an old tag a long but it was getting really hard because even though Amelia is only eight, she is quite a big lass, and the tagalong is very difficult to control. But Phil persevered and then I saw an article about CFC in Cycling Active. I just thought: if it’s going to make it easier for them both and they’re going to be able to get to nicer places further afield, I’ll apply. I was quite surprised but very grateful when the tandem arrived six weeks later. We have to thank JD Tandems in Gargrave who helped get it perfect for us. It’s gorgeous! Even I’m thinking of getting back on my bike as well so I can go with her.

“So Amelia and Poppa have been out to Knott-End-on-Sea today, but they’ve also done a sportive in Manchester recently — that was 13 miles and it took about an hour. She also does the SkyRides, she’s done all of those ever since she was getting better. She’s absolutely over the moon on her bike because she feels so much better, it makes her so much brighter, and she just enjoys being outdoors with her Poppa, even when it’s raining. We think that cycling has made her a lot stronger. The next thing is to take her up a hill, she’s not quite strong enough for it just yet but she will be soon.

“And if she gets the cycling bug and becomes the next Victoria Pendleton, she’s promised that Cycling Active can interview her first!”