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Peter's Fundraising Story

1000 miles, 14 days, and over £3000 raised for the Scar Free Foundation!

Scar Free Supporter Peter Homa cycled the famous LeJog route in August to raise money for The Scar Free Foundation. His epic journey started in Land’s End in Cornwall and finished at John O’Groats in the Scottish Highlands, with lots of hills to climb along the way!

Now that he’s had some time to recover, Peter shares his favourite parts of the journey, his motivation on the road, and why he wanted to support the Scar Free Foundation.

I originally wanted to do LeJog when I had a gap year between leaving school and going to University - over 45 years ago! In the end, I got a job. But having just retired as Director General of the Defence Medical Services, I decided now was the time to fulfil my ambition.

I was introduced to Scar Free through attending a powerful set of presentations about Scar Free’s vital work. Karl Hinett, a veteran, burns survivor, and Scar Free Ambassador spoke at the event about how the Scar Free Foundation had supported him. That speech especially convinced me that I wanted to support such vital work.

Getting ready for the ride was exciting and anxiety-inducing! I thought about doing the ride unsupported, but the logistics felt overwhelming. Instead, I joined Saddle Skedaddle, an international bike touring company with seasoned guides. In the end there were seven cyclists in our group: two Aussies, one Kiwi, one German and three Brits, including me.

As the cycle went on, I was so glad I decided to do a supported tour! Having people around with such diverse life experiences was enriching, and the sense of camaraderie between the guides and the cyclists really helped on those tough climbs.

There were many special moments and special places. One that I will always treasure is the afternoon cycling through a Scots Pine Forest near Balmoral in sunshine, dappled by the trees. I was cycling on my own at time, on smooth tarmac, enjoying the sound of the whirring bike wheels and the call of eagles. Magical.

Other special moments were more social - Charlotte, my daughter, and Ben, my son, joined us for support in Cheddar. Ben then joined the pack when we cycled between Cheddar and Hereford (77 miles). And of course, it was wonderful being reunited with Deb, my wife, at the end of the adventure.

But through it all, it was the support of friends – old and new – that really drove me forward. I became quite emotional reading the messages of support from everyone and I kept them in my mind when things got hard. Karl Hinett, the veteran whose story inspired me to raise money for the Scar Free Foundation, even offered his support:

"Peter, such a very impressive and demanding challenge! As you navigate this final stretch, I wanted to extend my support to you, from me – and the entire Scar Free Foundation. We are cheering you on with every peddle you take. From one ultra runner – to one ultra LEJOG cyclist - remember, the finish line is within your grasp, and we firmly believe in your ability to conquer it!

Keep pushing forward, digging deep and eating those flap-jacks! Thank you for supporting scar free research and raising funds by taking on this incredible challenge."

The final day when we arrived at John O’Groats was long (88 miles) and had a few big hills – but it was exhilarating to arrive and look at the map and think that we had cycled over 1000 miles (with only one puncture!)

We celebrated with a beer that night. It was great to complete the challenge with people who were, 14 days earlier, complete strangers. Now we were friends, bonded by a shared challenge.

A month on, I’m happy to say that I’m still enjoying cycling (though LeJog has reframed my sense of what a ‘long cycle’ is!) Now I’m just wondering what’s next!

I am sincerely grateful to everyone who so kindly and generously supported Scar Free and helping to care for those who have courageously served our country through sponsoring my LeJog adventure. The kind supportive messages that I received provided inspiration, encouragement and energy. Thank you so much.

We are so proud to have supporters like Peter who push themselves to the limit and overcome what they thought was near impossible - all whilst raising money for crucial medical research towards scar free healing. If you are inspired by Peter's story and would like to raise money for the Foundation, please get in touch with our fundraiser Lubna via [email protected].