Felixstowe: Race for Jase raises �12,000 in memory of firefighter

MORE than 125 cyclists will set off on a bike ride through the Suffolk countryside tomorrow in memory of a much-loved father-of-three who died from brain cancer.

The sponsored event – part of a celebration of the life of port firefighter Jason Gouldby – has already raised more than �12,000, with the total growing by the day.

Mr Gouldby, 43, who lived with his wife Rachel, and three young children Eve, Isaak and Oren, in Old Felixstowe, was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2009.

Despite a successful operation to remove a tumour and further treatment, the cancer did not clear. After a courageous fight against the disease, he died on September 4 at St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich.

During his final days, he helped plan the ride which will take place tomorrow in his honour, setting off from the clifftop at the Golf Road and High Road East junction in Old Felixstowe.

Those taking part in the Race for Jase will be doing routes of 16, 25 and 50 miles – with everyone asked to wear red, Mr Gouldby’s favourite colour – with the shorter routes described as an easy amble for all abilities, and the longest route to Snape and back for the more serious cyclists.

Afterwards there will be a hog roast at the White Horse, Church Road. There will also be a prize raffle with all proceeds to the hospice.

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The family want the day to be positive, a celebration of Mr Gouldby’s life and to help the hospice, which gave him and them so much help during the later stages of his illness.

Everyone involved has been delighted with the support the ride has received, both the number of people wanting to take part and the amount of money raised so far, which has already exceeded their target.

Mr Gouldby was a respected member of the Port of Felixstowe fire and rescue team, serving as a leading fireman and emergency medical technician.

He was often part of the port ambulance crew which goes out in to the community to carry out 999 calls for the NHS ambulance trust.

A port spokesman said he was a very popular member of the emergency team and will be sadly missed.

One family friend described him as “incredibly brave” in the way he bore his illness and fought against it.

“He never complained once about his illness and none us believed we could show the kind of courage that he did if it was us suffering in that way,” he said.

A funeral service was held for Mr Gouldby at Seven Hills Crematorium yesterday.

Emily Sheridan, community fundraiser at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “I have liaised the family and the organisers of the cycle event while Jason was being looked after here and since he sadly died and have been giving them support.

“Everyone here is absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of money being raised and raised so quickly.

“Our gratitude is immense because this will make a really big difference to the work here at the hospice. We will be going along to start off the cycle ride and support it on the day.”

? To register for the cycle ride and to donate to the fund, visit the www.raceforjase.co.uk

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