THE loving brother of cancer suffering seven-year old Becky Bell completed two bike rides in two days in support of his younger sister.
Mark Bell, 11, who is due to start at English Martyrs RC School and Sixth Form College in two weeks, joined family and friends in a 15-mile bike ride on the Hart to Haswell walk way on Saturday – and just 24 hours later completed another fundraising ride around Summerhill.
The dedicated efforts come just days after Becky was forced to spend her seventh birthday in hospital while she underwent surgery to insert a tube so the youngster does not have to be injected with needles every day.
Becky’s parents, Julie, 40, and Mark, 35, said their son was insistent on taking part in the events to support Becky.
“We are really proud of Mark,” said Julie. “He really wanted to do something for his sister and I think he is proud of himself as well.”
Saturday’s bike ride was organised by Becky’s uncle, George Bell, 52.
George, a technical surveyor, and dad-of-two who lives in Ventnor Avenue, in Hartlepool, with his wife Katharine, 50, a catering supervisor, originally planned to do the bike ride alongside Mark and his cousins Dylan Davidson, eight, and Aiden Cullen, 10.
But almost 20 friends and family members turned out on Saturday morning to take part in the challenge and helped to raise around £2,000.
Meanwhile, Julie spoke of her pride for daughter Becky after she got through her most difficult week of treatment since she started her course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy three weeks ago.
Becky is currently undergoing six weeks of treatment for brain cancer after medics detected a tumour the size of a golf ball.
After her first course Becky will have a four-week break before another six weeks of treatment.
“She is doing so well,” said Julie, also a mum to Vicki, 22.
“It was really tough for Becky to have to spend her birthday in hospital, but we are going to go out for a family meal one night this week.
“She is being so brave.”
Julie and Mark are hoping to take Becky on a dream trip to Disneyland Paris in between the courses of treatment.
As reported in the Mail, residents throughout Hartlepool and east Durham have organised a number of events to help fund the dream break.
Fun days, fundraising evenings, tattoo auctions and bike rides have so far helped to raise around £11,000.
“Everybody has just been marvellous,” added Julie.
“We are over the moon with how much support Becky has received, we can’t thank people enough.”
A website which was set up by town businessman Jamie Barnecutt continues to receive donations and has now reached £3,388.
People can show their support by visiting www.beckybell.co.nr.
l A fundraising evening is taking place at Hartlepool Catholic Club, in the town’s Marlowe Road, this Thursday from 7pm.
Tickets have sold out, but any companies or individuals who wish to donate prizes for an auction are asked to call organiser Alan Addleton on 07833 497178.