Grandad will mark 70th birthday by cycling 70 miles for charity close to his heart

Rod Halliburton and grandson, Ollie, raise money for NGH chemo suite NNL-141108-170009001
Rod Halliburton and grandson, Ollie, raise money for NGH chemo suite NNL-141108-170009001

A grandfather will be marking his 70th birthday by cycling 70 miles to raise money for cancer treatment after his stepdaughter was diagnosed with the illness.

Rod Halliburton will attempt to complete the challenge in seven hours in support of the new chemotherapy unit at Northampton General Hospital (NGH) who “have been brilliant and hugely supportive”.

His stepdaughter, Ali, who currently lives in Northampton, was diagnosed with 
ovarian cancer earlier this year after an unrelated operation.

Mr Halliburton said: “It was a shock and it has been disturbing for the whole family, but Ali has been very positive. At first we were told the cancer wouldn’t develop, but in a short space of time Ali has had chemotherapy and major surgery.

“We decided, as a family, to do something in support of her and for the hospital after we were taken aback by their support. In the end I drew the short straw.”

Mr Halliburton, from Milton Keynes, will set off on the 70-mile ride on Saturday, August 23, days after his 70th birthday, joined by a nephew while other family members will drive the support car.

“We haven’t finalised the route but it will join mine and Ali’s homes, via Stony Stratford and Olney,” he said.

The retired engineer added: “I won’t be doing a full 70- mile cycle until the day, but I have been doing lots of training and I am hoping the adrenaline rush on the day will give me an extra push.”

Mr Halliburton has been Ali’s stepfather for 35 years, since she was four years old, and has one other stepson and two natural children, as well as four grandchildren. All have been very supportive and, he said: “My nine-year-old grandson, Ollie, and his friends are also raising money for the new chemotherapy unit by being sponsored to swim a mile each.”

Commenting on the cycle, he said: “It will be interesting to see how I do. It is a serious cause, but we will make it a lot of fun on the day, with stops at regular intervals, friends and family to see us off, and I am sure we will find a pub to celebrate on the way back.”

Mr Halliburton has already smashed his £500 fund-raising target and is hoping for a four-figure total. To add your support, visit