Two midwives are donning their helmets and hopping on their bikes - just after they catch a plane to America.
Rowena Caddell and Sadie Porter, who both work as midwives in Craigavon Area Hospital, are about to embark on a cycling trek from Niagara Falls to New York City.
The pair fly to Buffalo, USA, next week, where they will join a team of cyclists - all in aid of Marie Curie.
“There’s a group of roughly forty of us,” explained Sadie, who has been busy training around the Richhill roads. “It’ll be exciting to cycle through so many different towns and see the country from a different perspective. It will be a challenge - but we’re up for it!”
The duo certainly don’t shy away from adventure, with this being their fourth international trek for Marie Curie. Before now, they have cycled across Poland from Gdansk to Warsaw, from London to Paris, as well as braving the heights and bends of the Canadian Rockies - from Banff to Jasper.
“The Canadian Rockies were the last cycle we did, which was back in 2009,” Sadie shared, “so we’ve had quite a break! Next week’s cycle covers a distance of 411 miles, however, which is twice the length of any of our previous treks.”
While Sadie and Rowena are both passionate about their careers in midwifery, Marie Curie has been a charity close to their hearts since they first began fundraising more than 15 years ago.
“As well as my role in the Midwifery Led Unit, I work as a nurse in the Southern Area Hospice in Newry,” said Sadie. “Working there, I have seen how vital palliative care and support services are to patients and their families - whether it be in the home or in a hospice. Seeing this firsthand gives us all the more drive to raise crucial funds for Marie Curie.”
Despite their busy schedules and conflicting hospital shifts, Rowena and Sadie have made training their priority ahead of the challenge.
“We’ve managed to get a lot of training in,” Rowena shared, “and cycled in the Marie Curie ‘Lap the Lough’ event last weekend.”
The midwives’ gruelling US adventure will take six days to complete, culminating in a grand entrance into New York City.
“It’s a very worthy cause - most families are affected by cancer in some way or another,” explained Rowena.
“We had a lot to raise, but we’d love to give a special mention to The Yellow Door, who donated bread for a soup lunch we held at Edenderry Methodist, as well as Richhill’s Eurospar and The Mall Shopping Centre in Armagh. We really appreciate all those who supported us and donated, including friends and family. We’re getting excited now!”