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Ashgate Hospice > Twins taking on European running and cycling challenges in tribute to ‘champ’ dad

A pair of identical twins are preparing to run a marathon each in separate countries months after their dad died from cancer.  

Joe and Sam Travers will be representing Ashgate Hospice at the Amsterdam Marathon and London Marathon respectively.

The latter’s race, which takes place in the Dutch capital on 15th October, follows a mammoth 500-mile cycling challenge on his dad’s old bike across the Pyrenees.

While Sam plans to complete his feat in London on 21st April sporting fancy dress – a decision which he hopes will “draw attention away from [his] finish time”.

The duo, 29, from Dronfield, wanted to do their bit for the hospice after it cared for their dad Stephen Travers at the end of his life.

They hope to raise as much as possible towards end of life care in North Derbyshire.

Sam said: “Our dad never wanted to ask too much of people, but he was never made to feel like he was at Ashgate.

“Everyone went above and beyond for him! To the point where he said he felt like he was on holiday when he was there – the number of sorbets he saw off might have helped.

“I can’t thank the hospice enough for how it helped us as a family, but mainly how the staff and volunteers made Dad feel comfortable.

“They laughed with him and kept him company; I felt like he wasn’t alone when we weren’t there with him.”

Stephen died from prostate cancer in May this year after receiving care at home and on the hospice’s Inpatient Unit.

He was first diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma 13 years ago before going into remission, until he was told he had prostate cancer years later.

Despite receiving successful treatment against the prostate cancer, the illness returned and it sadly became incurable.

Since receiving his first diagnosis, Stephen and his sons took on numerous charity bike tours together to raise funds for causes close to their hearts.

This included their final challenge, the North Coast 500 – a 516-mile scenic route around the coast of Scotland, which was made extra special thanks to the support of Ashgate.

With Stephen too sick to take part himself, the hospice helped arrange for him and his friend Nip to follow behind in a campervan – allowing for them to create “special memories” when it mattered most.

Ahead of his next challenge, Sam said: “From my experiences with the care the hospice provided for my dad, I could not thank them enough.

“He was surrounded by his grandkids and able to see my son who thankfully arrived in time for him to see and hold when he was able to.

“The best we can do now is to try and raise as much as possible so other families can have the same experiences as we did.

“I’m currently supporting a well grown grief gut and after our second child arrived a month before my dad passed, the dad bod has also come on strong.

“I’ve managed to ditch a stone so far and have started running on the treadmill again. I tried to do a marathon before with no training and it was awful, so I’ve learnt from the past and I’m making sure I train this time!”

The boys and their dad after completing a cycle ride together

Joe completed his eight day cycle up and down the mountains from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean between France and Spain in September.

The trip saw him climb more than 37,000 ft in total – higher than the elevation of Mount Everest and even higher than a commercial flight.

He added: “We wanted to raise money for the incredible team at Ashgate, who kept our champ fighting till the very end, with a smile on his face and bringing joy to us all.

“Words can’t describe how thankful we are as a family and all the lasting memories we were able to make thanks to their tireless care and kindness.

“He always loved a good cycling anecdote, reminiscing about the rides through all elements and overcoming so many challenges together which we were unbelievably lucky to share together.

“So, what better way to remember him than taking his bike for one more tour, complete with days of saddle sore, mountain climbing and horrendous cyclist tan lines… it’s what he would have wanted!”

Find out more about how you can fundraise for Ashgate Hospice.

Joe completed his cycle after eight days
The twins and their dad got matching tattoos in tribute to their charity cycle rides together