When Jacqui Parker lost her lovely sister-in-law to bowel cancer, she pledged to do something special in her memory.

So she and her best friend, Kay Starbuck-Chapman, cycled 60 miles and raised more than £700 for Bowel & Cancer Research.

“It was really enjoyable,” said Jacqui, 55, from Market Deeping.

We just had lots of fun.

Her sister-in-law Christine – who used to ride a tandem with her husband - would have been very supportive, she added.

Christine Leather, a mum of four children from York, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014 and died in January this year, aged 59.

They told her she had a year to live but she battled through for another five years

said Jacqui.

“She was a lovely person – always with a smile on her face, always thought the best of people, a lovely family lady who was so in love with my brother Chris. They were inseparable and definitely came as a pair.

“Her four children, who had mostly left home, migrated back to York to be with their mum and dad when she became ill. Losing her was devastating for everyone.”

The two fundraising mums, who have eight children and stepchildren between them, are regular cyclists – but not the Bradley Wiggins variety.

“We’ve done a few charity walks in the past but we decided to get the bikes out instead and cycle for fun. It’s a great way of getting some exercise, having a chat and enjoying the countryside,” said Jacqui.

She and Kay, 44, from Stamford, met more than 15 years ago when they were both Teaching Assistants at Market Deeping primary school. 

The fundraising event they chose was the Flat 100 South 60-miler which starts and ends in Peterborough.

“Everyone else got on their road bikes and raced past us. We just took our time, chatting along in the country lanes, and finished in 5 hrs 4mins. We were happy with that.

“On one of our training rides, we stopped off in a pub and a complete stranger gave us a donation when he saw our Bowel & Cancer Research vests because he lost his mum and brother to bowel cancer. It was very touching.”

Kay’s husband Dan followed them as back-up team, along with Jacqui’s husband Andy, her brother Mark and eldest daughter Laura.

Chief Executive of Bowel & Cancer Research Deborah Gilbert  thanked the two mums for their support. “We’re very sorry to hear about Christine Leather. Our mission is to ensure that no one should die of this terrible disease in future and we can only do that with the help of fantastic fundraisers like Jacqui and Kay.”

Anyone who wants to support Jacqui and Kay can do so at https://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/fundraisers/starriders?startat=10