Family battling cancer launch charity challenges

An Everton mother and daughter fighting a variety of cancers have launched a series of fundraisers to raise thousands for the charities that have supported them.

Inspired by their family bike “Rivron Strong”, Jo Rivron (39) and her daughter Matilda (11) will be joined by friends and family this summer to complete a series of events. The main beneficiaries are Oakhaven Hospice and the Piam Brown Children’s Cancer Ward at Southampton General Hospital, plus a number of other children’s charities.

The Rivron family is hoping to raise £ 8,600

Jo has been living with breast cancer since her diagnosis in 2015, with many hospitalizations, surgeries, radiotherapy and constant chemotherapy.

In June 2020, Jo’s oldest daughter Matilda was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia just four days before her 11th birthday. Within days she began a grueling and tense course of chemotherapy.

Both mother and daughter are treated at various hospitals in Southampton, which can be a logistical nightmare for the family, with youngest daughter Amelie (8) often cared for by friends and family while father Christian supports Jo and Matilda.

Jo said, “The support we’ve received from friends and family has been incredible. People really want to do something to show their love and we have received so many great gifts.

“But we really wanted to focus some of that love on the causes that have supported our family during this terrible time.”

To celebrate her 40th birthday, Jo has set herself the challenge of taking a 5 km walk around the old Beaulieu airport on April 24, supported by friends and family.

She said, “Some days it’s hard for me to even get up on the couch with the treatment I’m currently using, so 5km will be a real challenge. Friends and family join me for a walk. “

“Our family motto is ‘Rivron Strong’. We use this to remind ourselves that it’s okay not to be okay and to know that it’s okay to have fun, be happy and be positive – even when you have a bad day.! “

“Although we face difficult times every day, we also use this mindset to continue to support our friends in their own struggles. We have to live with cancer every day, but it won’t be our daily focus, and it won’t define us! “

In addition to support from husband Christian, Jo’s family has received tremendous support from her parents Lynn and Noel, who are determined to play a part in raising money.

An avid cyclist, Noel has been on his bike almost every day during the pandemic and has now set himself the challenge of covering 8,600 miles by June 21 – the planned end of UK lockdown restrictions, and close to the birthdays of Matilda and Amelie.

He set this goal because it is the equivalent distance to and from Trinidad, where his parents were born.

Meanwhile, Christian will compete in the Virtual London Marathon in October to support the pediatric cancer ward at Southampton Hospital in Piam Brown, with other challenges for family fundraisers slated for the summer.

Within five days of the launch of the Rivron Strong fundraiser, Jo and Matilda had reached their goal of £ 8,600, which they are now looking to raise.

Jo said, “We are completely overwhelmed by the incredible support we have received so far. Charities have faced so many hardships in the last 12 months, but the support for us has never been compromised – we are so happy we can do this to give something back. “

Other children’s charities that will benefit include the Little Princess Trust, Super-Shoes, CLIC Sargent, Maggie’s Center, Flight Like A Kid, and Wessex Cancer Trust.

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