Avalon greets a new dawn after fight for life

sponsored rowers Ardingly Reservoir
sponsored rowers Ardingly Reservoir

For Avalon Ridler a sponsored row at sunrise was a signficant moment in a young life that has been threatened by serious illness.

The 18-year-old from Burgess Hill has been fighting blood cancer and one of her strongest ambitions was to return to rowing as soon as she was fit again.

Months of challenging treatment have restored Avalon’s health and on Saturday she was able to rejoin pals at Ardingly Rowing Club for a fund-raising event that started at 5am.

The sponsored row raised money for two sets of junior blades, but also for what the club described as a “charity close to the members’ hearts”.

At the beginning of the year, a much loved club coach lost his wife to cancer.

Alongside this, in December 2012, junior club member Avalon was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Avalon enjoyed the row for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. before setting off on holiday.

She said of her illness: “This changed my life completely, and I had to give up doing all the activities I love, including rowing. Having completed sixth months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, I couldn’t wait to get back on the water and begin training again. The club has been very supportive and I am so grateful that they have chosen to support Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.”

The Sunrise Row will took a relay format over a distance of 10,000 metres and is expected to raise about £2,000. The group is pictured at Ardingly Reservoir, where the row was held.

Anyone wishing to donate to fund-raising after the event should make cheques made payable to Ardingly Rowing Club , stating Sunrise Row on the back of the cheque, and cheques may be sent c/o Avalon Ridler, 20 Rosebarn Close, Burgess Hill, RH15 0HN.

Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research is a registered charity and details may be obtained at www.leukaemialymphomaresearch.org.uk/

Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is the only UK charity solely dedicated to research into blood cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. About 30,000 people of all ages, from children and teenagers to adults are diagnosed with a blood cancer in the UK every year.

It receives no government funding and relies entirely on voluntary support. In the next five years it needs to raise £120 million to continue lifesaving research.

Anyone requiring further information on the subject may ring 020 7504 2200.