HORSE lover Sharon Crabbe is to swap her riding saddle for a bike one to take part in two long-distance rides to raise money for cancer charities.

Ms Crabbe, 61, from Potterne, near Devizes, suffered her own long spell of ill health which culminated in her having a kidney removed.

She was in a dark place, became depressed and turned to comfort eating. At one point the only clothes she could fit into were her pyjamas.

But her love of horses helped her turn her life around as she was determined to get back in the saddle. She lost weight with Slimming World and a year ago became a leader of a Devizes group.

She is now to take part in cycle rides organised by Dream Challenges and will raise money for Women V Cancer, Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action.

She said: "I am riding in the first challenge, Ride The Night London which is100km, on May 25th and I have committed to raising a minimum of £3,300 by August 23 in order to take part in Cycle Costa Rica in November.

"Cycle Costa Rica is a challenging ride west coast to east coast of 360km.

"I know everybody has been touched and affected by cancer in some way, but I was recently moved and inspired to do something positive, by two wonderful women friends who fought against it so bravely but lost.

"This time last year I was having my own health struggles, but I lost 3 stone. This has given me back my self confidence. So when I saw the advertisement for the the challenge in a Slimming World magazine I thought “yes” I can do this.

Crazy really, but this challenge will help in the fight against cancer and help me in my own physical and mental health, and who knows, maybe inspire others to start pedalling."

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