Team Rynkeby documentary shown on national television in Denmark in the autumn 2016.
TR Press UK - 02-07-2018
Irma’s drawing is accompanying her mother to Paris
On the chest of Team Rynkeby – God Morgon Täby’s bike jersey, there is a small drawing of a cat. The drawing was made by Tina Lejdemyr’s six-year-old daughter, Irma, shortly before she died as a result of cancer.
When Tina Lejdemyr’s three-year-old daughter, Irma, began to squint and then suddenly one morning woke up and vomited, Tina knew that this was not just a regular children’s illness.
Irma was taken to the doctor, and after several tests Tina Lejdemyr’s worst fears were confirmed – Irma had a malignant brain tumour.
“I felt right away that something was wrong. She wasn’t quite herself,” says Tina Lejdemyr during a lunch break with Team Rynkeby – God Morgon Täby.
Together with the yellow-clad charity cycling team, she is heading towards Paris for the benefit of children with critical illnesses.
Long and hard treatment
Irma received treatment for more than three and a half years. It looked promising, and just before the summer of 2007 her treatment was completed.
“But in the autumn we were called in for another appointment,” says Tina.
Doctors had found that the tumour had returned and that Irma was experiencing a relapse.
“We had a lovely last summer together,” she continues.
On Christmas morning in 2007, just before her seventh birthday, Irma passed away.
A strong motivation to make a difference
This is the second time that Tina Lejdemyr has put herself in the saddle to cycle to Paris with Team Rynkeby – God Morgon. One of her friends who herself had made the trip and who also lost her daughter to cancer recommended that Tina submit an application.
“I have been involved in a lot of volunteer work after Irma left us. I’ve served on the board of the Children’s Cancer Foundation in Stockholm/Gotland, and I was part of a support group for parents who have lost children to cancer. But I think the Team Rynkeby project is a good platform to do something more – a platform that really can accomplish something,” she says.
The bulk of the money that the Children’s Cancer Foundation receives from Team Rynkeby – God Morgon in Sweden is used to finance research into childhood cancer. The money has, among other things, helped to ensure improved survival among the children who are affected.
“When Irma became ill, I remember that we were told that three out of four children survived cancer. Today, it is four out of five. It’s absolutely amazing,” says Tina Lejdemyr.
The cat on the chest
On the chest of Team Rynkeby – God Morgon Täby’s bike jerseys, the image of the cat that Irma drew shortly before her death has been printed along with her signature and a little heart.
“Irma was really good at drawing and writing,” explains Tina.
“She was always drawing this cat during the time before she passed away. It became a sort of signature for her in her last days. It was also placed on her gravestone,” Tina continues.
In fact, a platinum sponsor was just about to put their logo on the jersey over the heart.
“But when they heard the story, they chose a different placement,” says Tina Lejdemyr, who not only has Irma’s cat on her jersey. She also has the cat dangling from a chain around her neck.
“Yesterday I was lying down in the hotel room and relaxing, when suddenly there was a knock at the door,” she says.
It was the team, which had shown the photo of Irma’s drawing toa silversmith who then created a necklace for Tina.
“Just because we care about you so much, Tina”, the team had written on the accompanying card.
And the support from teammates means a lot to Tina, as does Irma’s drawing on her chest.
“She feels closer to me when I’m cycling. When I get tired, I think of her even more. It’s important for me to dedicate time to think of her here – it doesn’t work the same way at home in everyday life. I am doing this for her, and so that other children do not suffer the same fate – but I’m also doing it to honour Irma,” says Tina Lejdemyr.
You can follow all of Team Rynkeby’s Tour De Paris on www.team-rynkeby.com/LIVE2018.
This story has been translated into English by Semantix Translations Denmark A/S.