A WIFE is paying heartfelt tribute to the hospice which cared for her late husband.

Miki Mitchell and around 100 cycling-club colleagues are taking part in a major fundraiser in aid of Manorlands, at Oxenhope.

And she is urging others to join them in the Bronte Sportive event, on July 21.

Miki’s husband, Chris, a father of two, died from cancer last October. He was 59.

With support from Manorlands, he was able to spend the final part of his life at home in Wilsden.

“We were told in February last year that Chris had stage-four bowel cancer and all that would be available for him would be palliative care,” said Miki. “It was a terrible thing to get our heads round.

“For 30 years we’d been so active – off to the caravan with the kids every weekend, jet skiing and mountain biking, scuba diving and snow skiing in the winter. Then, all of a sudden, there we were sitting in our front room facing the end.

“Chris was adamant he would stay at home and when Joanna (Longden) from Manorlands came to see us she just said ‘home is best; don’t worry about a thing, we’ll look after you’ – and she did. She was lovely.

“Manorlands brought Chris specialist nursing and pain management, even complimentary therapies, and there was financial advice and counselling for both of us.”

When Chris died, Miki decided she wanted to help the Sue Ryder hospice as a thank-you for all it had done.

Donations at the funeral were taken for Manorlands, and it was when Miki visited the hospice to hand over the money that she learned about the Bronte Sportive.

She had joined the Queensbury Queens of the Mountain all-women cycling club earlier in the year. And now members will be out in force with her for the event.

The club has also adopted Manorlands as its charity of the year – already raising £1,300.

“Cycling is wonderful therapy,” said Miki.

“I can be cruising along in my own little bubble, thinking things through, maybe having a cry, talking to Chris – and then someone comes up beside you, you get chatting and before you know it you’re having a laugh! The Queensbury Queens of the Mountain have been my lifeline.”

The Bronte Sportive – sponsored by All Terrain Cycles – has an option of four distances, ranging from 29 to 93 miles. The event is open to all abilities but for those seeking an extra challenge there’s a timed hill climb, named in memory of Chris.

“Sue Ryder needs to raise £2.1 million locally every year to be able to continue the amazing care it provides so please dust off your bike and join us,” said Miki. For more details and to enter, visit sueryder.org/brontesportive.