Melissa cycles from Vietnam to Cambodia in memory of her grandad - and admits she can’t remember the last time she rode a bike

Melissa Earwaker is cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia to raise money for the British Heart Foundation

Melissa Earwaker is cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. - Credit: Archant

A Chatteris woman is cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia to raise money for charity in memory of her grandad, a well known figure in the boxing community in the eastern region.

Melissa Earwaker will be pedalling the 400km on an organised trek as a tribute to her grandad, Matthew Payne, who was president of the Mid Anglian Boxing club and a regular timekeeper and bell ringer at fights across the area.

The 26 year old is raising money for the British Heart Foundation and admits she is not usually a cyclist.

“I can’t remember the last time I got on a bike. It’s going to be a big 10 day challenge for a charity that is close to my heart,” she said.

“I am going to the gym and have lots of shorter bike rides lined up as practice.”

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Melissa is a clinical trials coordinator at Papworth Hospital and has a target of £3,100 she must reach before the event in November.

“I have worked alongside many amazing clinicians and doctors at Papworth Hospital for the last five years.

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“I’ve undoubtedly seen first hand the effects of cardiovascular disease on our population.

“I’ve comforted teenagers waiting for months for a heart transplant, seen family break down at the bad news of losing a loved one and the joys of those who fight with every ounce of strength they have to meet their first grandchild.

“It’s the people I’ve meet along my journey at Papworth and losing my grandfather to cardiovascular disease a few years ago that has spurred me on to raise money for others to continue their fight against it.

“The money recieved by the British Heart Foundation makes a huge difference, to not only forward the research done to prevent and treat heart disease, but also supports those who continue their fight on a daily basis.

“I’m very excited and nervous. It’s going to be an amazing experience,” she said.

• A 12 hour darts marathon is at Chatteris Working Men’s Club on April 7 to help boost Melissa’s fund raising. For information visit her Just Giving page.

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