Chris Miller with his daughter Ellie
Chris Miller with his daughter Ellie

Chris Miller will be joining his daughter, Ellie, on the start-line of Prudential Ride London as they prepare to cycle 100 miles for the blood cancer research charity, Bloodwise.

In July 2014 Ellie, 26, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and soon after her 65-year-old father, of Bingham, had a heart attack on his way to work. 

Ellie, who lives in Leeds, had suffered fatigue, night sweats and unexplained weight loss. After her GP found a lump in her neck, she was urgently referred to a consultant who diagnosed Hodgkin lymphoma.

She had six months of chemotherapy before going into remission. 

Mr Miller said: “When Ellie was diagnosed it was shattering for her and desperate for us. There was a lengthy period when we could not have imagined that she would be here doing this ride with me.

“We feared she wouldn’t be here to do so. 

“That fear continued for a while but things started to look up and optimism replaced the gloom during the treatment.

“It was obviously going well at a relatively early stage and so, while not complacent, our hopes and confidence became, and remained, strong. The fact that she is fit and able do the ride is so special.”

Ellie struggled at first to come to terms with life after treatment without the frequent hospital visits and reassurance that all was well.

However, three years on, she is doing well, graduating with a masters from university, starting a full-time job, and getting married.

“The generosity of all our family, friends, and colleagues at work in supporting this ride has been staggering.”

She is looking forward to joining her father for their first event together. 

She said: “Dad completed the Bloodwise Birmingham Bikeathon shortly after he had his heart attack, which was no mean feat. 

“I am immensely proud of him and grateful for everything he has done, so I thought this year it was only fair I accompany him.”

The duo have already beaten their fundraising target, raising more than £1,200 so far for research into blood cancers. 

“We know that the sort of research from which Ellie has benefitted is very expensive, and so raising funds is the best contribution we can make to reflect our gratitude,” Mr Miller said.

“The generosity of all our family, friends, and colleagues at work in supporting this ride has been staggering.”

Ellie said: “Survival rates due to developments in treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma have drastically changed in the last 50 years or so, but I am very aware that this is not the case for many blood cancers and blood disorders, for whom the outlook is still very poor.

“Research is the thing that can make all the difference and give other patients a much more positive outlook so anything that I can do that might help Bloodwise to achieve this is totally worth it.”

Matt Lawley, head of sport at Bloodwise, said: “The support from people like Chris and Ellie allows us to continue to fund life-saving research into blood cancers.

“Blood cancer kills more people each year than breast or prostate cancer, so every penny counts in ensuring we can save the lives of even more patients. We wish them all the best for the ride.”

To support Ellie and Chris, go to 42.