INTREPID cyclists are gearing up to raise money for research into leukaemia.

The team of fundraisers are taking part in the Hero of Hamelin Bike Ride which will see them pedal from Birmingham to Germany in six days.

The hero is a donor from the German town of Hamelin whose bone marrow helped save the life of Jonjo Rooney, co-founder of the new charity Bpositive.

Jonjo was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in December 2006. He underwent months of treatment before receiving the lifesaving stem cell transplant.

The charity's other co-founder is John Reeve, who lives in Wickham Bishop.

He is undertaking the expedition in memory of his son, Tim, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Tim went into remission after undergoing a year of chemotherapy. However, the cancer returned and he died in 2005 aged 23.

Among those taking part in the cycle ride are Lauren Hockney, 30, a journalist with the Gazette’s publisher, Newsquest.

Lauren, of St John’s Green, Colchester, has already raised thousands of pounds for the Tim Reeve Charitable Trust by completing the London Marathon, the Blackwater Triathlon and the Maldon Mud Race.

She said: “I can’t believe after agreeing to do this challenge in May, when I didn’t even have a bike, it’s almost time for us to set off.

“Our hard work in training is almost over so we’re really pushing the fundraising now.

"As a team we really hope people will be inspired by the reasons behind the ride and will back the three really important causes we’re doing it for.

“It is only with that support we’ll be able to help more people to beat blood cancer and those affected by it.”

The team sets off on September 6 and will call into the haematology day unit of Colchester General Hospital on September 8.

Money raised through sponsorship will be donated to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, the Anthony Nolan Trust and Bpositive, a support network connecting patients, families and friends affected by acute leukaemia.

To sponsor the riders text Bpos01 to 70070 and state the amount you want to donate or go to or