The family of the late Joe Russo made a special visit to Ninewells Hospital to hand over the proceeds of their fund-raising ‘Tour de Tayside’ bike event.
Two generations of family members of the popular businessman, who lost his battle against leukaemia 20 years ago, took to the roads in August to complete a 43-mile route from Forfar, taking in Craichie, Wellbank, the Sidlaws, Meigle and returning to Forfar.
The fourth tour was organised by Joe’s widow Anne Allan, their daughter Alison Brown and sons Martin and Graeme Russo to raise funds for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and the haematology unit at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, where Joe received treatment.
It was planned to mark the 20th anniversary of Joe’s death after he lost his battle against leukaemia on August 8, 1994.
The family event was also supported by all of Joe’s grand-children as well as members of the Angus Cardiac Group who completed the full route.
During an emotional visit to the haematology ward the family presented the grand total of £3,774, which has been split equally between the organisations.
The haematology unit will use the money to purchase Dyson fans and to boost their comfort fund.
The August 3 tour was the fourth one organised by the family, who have raised over £12,000 with their three previous cycle challenges.
The money has been used in a variety of ways to help patients, as well as their families, battling leukaemia. It has also been used to provide better broadband for those in the ward as well as computer equipment and a printer for a young patient who went on to graduate from university.
Money is still coming in from their latest cycle run and the family thank all those who have so generously supported their efforts.
Alison said: “It was very emotional going back to the ward to present the cheques as we met with ward staff who helped care for my father.
“It was an incredible amount and money is still coming in.
“We are all really overwhelmed by the support we have had from everyone. Roll on the next one in five years’ time, unless we can be persuaded to do one earlier.
“We would like to thank everybody for their support. It was very emotional being back in Ninewells again; there was a blood pressure unit with my dad’s name on it, which we had donated earlier, right next to where we were getting the photograph taken. It was a bit surreal.”