Breast cancer survivor to ride across Cuba

GEARING UP:  Sue Oakley will attempt to cycle 400km across Cuba next year.
GEARING UP: Sue Oakley will attempt to cycle 400km across Cuba next year.

A Sudbury woman who beat breast cancer is hoping to raise £3,000 for charity by cycling 400km across Cuba next year.

Sue Oakley, from Pinecroft Rise, has signed up to tackle the Women V Cancer Cycle Challenge – a 400km group ride across the Caribbean island over nine days from May 1.

The event raises money for three cancer charities and struck a chord with Mrs Oakley, 51, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006.

“I am completely in the clear, but I had two surgeries and went through about seven months of chemotherapy and four weeks of radiotherapy,” she said.

“I stayed relatively well throughout that – I was quite lucky really but my girls were young at the time so it was difficult for the family. I came out better than some women do.”

Mrs Oakley, who is married to Simon, 53, and has two daughters – Hazel, 21, and Claire, 18 – has raised around £2,000 so far, about £900 short of the amount required for the challenge.

“I thought it would good to be able to do something like this which raises money and awareness,” she said. “I turned 50 last year and that was another motivation.”

She has been in training to help cope with the gruelling daily distances and temperatures and has invested in a new bike to help her tackle the poor roads as smoothly as possible.

“I have always liked cycling but only really been back riding since the beginning of the year after about 10 years,” said Mrs Oakley, a nurse at Colchester General Hospital.

“It is going to be around 30 degrees over there, so it will be quite a challenge and there area few hills to negotiate as well.”

In an effort to boost her fundraising and get closer to achieving her target amount, Mrs Oakley has organised a charity curry evening at the Melford Valley Tandoori.

The event, on Monday, September 2, at 7.30pm includes a buffet meal and features a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses.

Tickets cost £15 per person with half the proceeds going to Mrs Oakley’s fund. For information, call Mrs Oakley on 01787 310204 or to make a donation go to