I first heard about Fraja Ellie and her plight on 22 Mar 13 from SAC Gareth Shackleton (MT Flt).  Fraja Ellie is a 5 year old girl at RAF Leeming with a very aggressive strain of cancer called Neuroblastoma with MYCN amplification.

She is currently receiving multi-modality therapy but there is a high risk that she will relapse, if this happens there is no treatment available in the UK.  However, there is treatment available in the USA but this will cost approximately £500,000!  I was requested to make posters to inform other people of her situation and to try to sell charity wrist bands to raise money.

Feeling very strongly about the cause I decided to invest further time and effort in raising money.  Gareth and I discussed the possibility of organising a static bike ride on 28 Mar 13.  Despite it being an ambitious idea for the time scale, we started acquiring the relevant  permissions and equipment we needed straight away.  We spread the word in the MT Flt and amongst various other sections, asking for people to donate, help or participate in the running of the event.  The response was extremely encouraging.  We attained safety clearance from the Fire Section along with plenty of willing volunteers for riding the bikes.  The PEd Flt loaned us the use of their bikes, a tent and weight bags, GEF contributed an extension lead and the Photo Section provided us with posters and took various snaps through the day.  With the assistance of Station Warrant Officer K Watson and Stn Adjutant Flt Lt H O’Shea-Herriot we procured permission for the event from Group Captain J Stringer.  We received an abundance of support from ISS, who supplied us with refreshments and collection buckets but most importantly gave us permission to utilise the space between the Hero’s Bar and the Spar Shop for the event.

Setting up the equipment for the event started at 0700 hrs on 28 Mar 13 and by 0800 hrs the event had begun and all 6 bikes were spinning.  The goal – to ride 1000 miles in 10 hours using 6 static bikes outside in the less than forgiving spring temperatures.  Throughout the day MT Flt personnel came down regularly to participate as well as personnel from other sections, some staying for half the day or even for the entire event.

The event took a total of 8½  hours and raised £534.75.  It was a huge success and I’d like to extend my appreciation to everyone involved.


SAC Caroline Barlow