SHE is the Hampshire mum cycling hundreds of kilometres to help those who have suffered the tragic loss of a baby.

Stacey Lewis, 33, from Hedge End, along with her friend Rebby Mardon, 32, from West End, are taking part in Cycle Cuba 2017 for Genesis Research Trust.

They will cycle 360km in five days across the country from October 6 on behalf of the charity, which raises money for researching the causes and cures of conditions that affect women and babies.

These include miscarriage, premature birth, cervical and womb cancers.

The pair have so far raised £3,253 and counting of their £6,700 target thanks to nearly 80 supporters.

Stacey, who is a cancer pathway co-ordinator for University Hospital Southampton, said: “In 2013, I was beyond devastated to learn at my 12 week scan of my very first pregnancy that my baby had died about a week before and that I would need to undergo surgery.

“There was no reason for it, no explanation, just ‘one of those things’ I was told.

“I felt for a long time like my world had ended and that I had failed.

"Even to this day, and now having two beautiful sons who I adore, I still feel guilty and I still cry at the loss of my first baby.

“Unfortunately, I know far too many women who have suffered the same tragedy, who have lost a baby in much later stages after premature births and others who are still struggling with fertility issues and desperate to conceive.

“This charity is so close to my heart and the work they are doing is just incredible.

“By taking part in Cycle Cuba 2017 and the funds we’ll raise I hope we can start to find cures and explanations for these life-altering events.

“This is going to be such a tough physical challenge – that goes without saying – but leaving my husband and two young sons for over a week is also going to test me to my limits, but I can’t wait.”

The two women met when Stacey was a fitness instructor and Rebby came along to one of her classes, where they struck up a friendship.

Rebby’s partner Ben is a keen cyclist and has been helping them with their training.

“We train every weekend cycling various distances from our homes and also in the New Forest,” said Stacey.

“We’ve held a fundraising barn dance which was a huge success. We’ve also been spinning in Southampton’s Go Outdoors store and will be doing so again.

“We’ve also got two pub quiz nights coming up in June and July.

“I think the work the charity does will strike a chord with a lot of people because it’s all so much more common than we realise and they receive so little funding. If we could smash our target it would just be utterly amazing.”

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