WHILE others were seeing in the new year with drinks and fireworks, charity fundraiser Gary Goodwin was pedalling his way home from Cumbria.
The 26-year-old, of Harton Grange, South Shields, took on the 260-mile coast-to-coast challenge to raise funds for Caring For Kian.
The fundraising initiative was launched for one-year-old Kian Musgrove, who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma.
Doctors have told Kian’s parents – Gary’s friends Sam Gordon, 25, originally from Jarrow, and Kat Musgrove, 26, from Newcastle – that the youngster only has a 50 per cent chance of survival.
Thousands of pounds have already been raised for Kian, with Gary estimating he’s set to add another £2,000 to the pot.
Gary, a mortgage advisor, said: “I cycled from Roker to Whitehaven on New Year’s Eve and then back on New Year’s Day.
“I thought it would be a good time to do it, as people might be more willing to sponsor me.
“I did the coast-to-coast with a few friends back in August for the Charlie Cookson Foundation, but it was a lot colder this time around.
“I did the Boxing Day Dip for Kian too, but the water was like a hot tub prepared to how cold it was on the ride.
“It was the coldest I’ve ever been in my life, but it was all worth it.”
Kian’s family were given some good news in the past few days, when medics revealed that the little boy’s primary tumour has shrunk to less than 1cm.
They aim to raise £250,000 to meet the cost of any relapse treatment for Kian.
Gary added: “I did the last ride with a couple of friends, but I was on my own this time, except for my support driver, Kris Dunbar.
“It was harder, as there was no one there to spur me on, but I just kept my mind on Kian.
“I had his picture on my handlebars and any time I felt like giving up, I just looked down and it kept me going.”
Kian’s aunt, Nikki English, added: “This family friend is a perfect example of someone with a heart of gold and he’s a true hero for what he has done.
“We really appreciate his determination to complete the ride, despite there being so many odds against him.
“We are all well and truly touched by his efforts for Kian, and the money he has raised is a great contribution to Kian’s fund.”