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Cycle ride in memory of Devizes hairdresser Kelly

The infectious smile of hairdresser Kelly Ross, who died last month aged 32, will help cyclist Craig Townsend go through the pain barrier as he raises money in her memory.

Mr Townsend, 34, of Quakers Walk, Devizes, knew and loved Mrs Ross as both a friend and family member as she was a cousin of his wife Abi.

He will take part in the Wiltshire 100 event on September 6 along with two friends Paul Paradise and Carl Minshull.

Mr Townsend said: “Kelly was such a cheerful loving person and always doing stuff for other people so the family want her to be remembered for that.

“We will continue to do charity events to honour her.”

The family has chosen the Forever Friends Appeal at the Royal United Hospital, Bath, where Mrs Ross was treated in the cancer unit. A collection at her funeral raised about £1,500 for the £8.5 million appeal to pay for a new cancer unit at the hospital.

Mrs Ross left two young children Ruby, three, and Jack who turned one a few weeks after she died at home on July 4 surrounded by her family.

She was only diagnosed with cancer in April after several months of pain and weight loss.

Mr Townsend, who works for Cross Manufacturing, had originally planned to do the Three Cities Challenge at the end of August which covers 350 miles over four days and takes in London, Amsterdam and Brussels.
But his wife is expecting their first child at the beginning of September and did not want to risk being out of the country.

He said: “A few mates suggested doing the Wiltshire 100 so I thought why not and booked it up. I did the London to Paris ride two years ago but have never done 100 miles in one day so it’s going to be a big challenge for me.

“I haven’t done any major miles lately so for the next two weeks I will be training hard.”

Mr Minshull, 33, who also works at Cross Manufacturing, will be raising money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance. He only took up cycling five months ago in a bid to loose weight. He is now four stone lighter.

Mr Paradise, 32, of Forty Acres Road, Devizes, has also seen a dramatic drop in his weight since he took up cycling. The web developer said: “Two years ago I was 21 stone and my doctor said my type 2 diabetes was not under control. I decided to change my lifestyle so I went on a diet and started cycling.

“I lost nearly nine stone over a year and half and I’m now no longer diabetic, my blood pressure is now normal and so is my cholesterol. So I decided to enter into the Wiltshire 100 to challenge myself.”

He will also be raising money for the Air Ambulance. He said: “I selected Wiltshire Air Ambulance because a family member a few years ago was treated by them, but sadly he passed away from the injuries.You never know when you will need them yourself.”

To sponsor the men go to justgiving.com/Craig-Townsend5

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