Waterlooville campaigner and author will take on cycle challenge in memory of Sophie Fairall

A SERIAL campaigner and activist will take on a cycle challenge in memory of Sophie Fairall.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 12:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th September 2021, 6:07 pm
Eugene Scardifield of Waterlooville, will be riding the Cranborne Classic on Sunday in memory of Sophie Fairall Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 290921-48)

On Sunday Eugene Scardifield will be taking part in The Cranborne Classic, a 72-mile bike ride, starting out from Salisbury Racecourse in Wiltshire.

‘It will be a good test for me, 72 miles in one go, with the hills and so on,’ Eugene said.

The 42-year-old author, poet and activist from Waterlooville, is well acquainted with testing his limits, having previously completed a 226-mile bike ride in his brother Michael’s memory, who he lost in 2015.

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Eugene Scardifield Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 290921-49)

This fundraising effort, however, will be in memory of brave 10-year-old, Sophie Fairall, who passed away on Saturday, September 18 at her home in Stubbington, after a year-long battle with cancer.

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After Sophie was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in September last year – a rare type of cancer that forms in children’s soft tissue like skeletal muscle – she launched an enthusiastic campaign to raise funds for children’s cancer charity Alice’s Arc.

Alice’s Arc is a children’s cancer charity, funding research into finding more targeted and less harsh treatments for rhabdomyosarcoma.

Sophie’s mother, Charlotte Fairall, said in their campaign ‘As a family we want Sophie's legacy to be changes in medical advances for children with cancer.’

After learning of local girl Sophie’s journey, Eugene felt compelled to do something in her memory and decided to create a fundraiser in aid of the children’s charity she had chosen.

‘It’s all about raising those funds, in her memory, for Alice’s Arc’, Eugene said.

Having experienced the devastating death of his brother, Michael Scardifield, who was murdered in 2015, Eugene recognises the importance of keeping the memory of a close family-member alive.

‘When my brother was murdered, one of my family's biggest fears was that Michael would be forgotten’, said Eugene.

‘I can imagine that’s the same way Sophie's family might feel, so you want to help do things to keep their memory alive, and all the time you can do it for a good cause, that can only be a positive thing I think.’

Eugene plans to use The Cranborne Classic to assist him in his next fundraising effort in a cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats, in aid of Rowans Hospice, taking place next year.

To donate to Eugene’s cycle for Sophie visit justgiving.com/fundraising/eugene-scardifield3.