I am currently in training to cycle 350 miles through Europe to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The inspiration for this effort has come from a life change of my own and mostly a few inspiring people:
A number of years ago I decided to change career, out of the arts and into science. As part of this drive I started working as a carer and met the first inspirational person. I worked alongside a gentleman who inspired me immensly. His attitude to life and independence really struck me. As a younger man he was a chemical engineer, building a company which was internationally sucessful in the manufacture of adhesives. He had a cycling career as well, preferring hills to flats and long distances to short. He often told me stories of his outdoor pursuits and being rather imaginative myself I could easily follow his articulate tales. When I met him he was no longer working in engineering, instead working in computer programming. He would use a voice activated device to write code for various projects including web pages or small programmes. He had gone back to university to retrain after his MS diagnosis had prevented him for doing any further work in the engineering business. He suffered a nasty burn to his hand that day. I found his determination to not give up compelling. Instead of seeing his diagnosis as a sentence he retrained in computer programming.
The second inspirational person I met was a girl who was like ages with me. We worked together and her diagnosis with MS was more recent. I was impressed by her resilince and her determination to not let it affect her. Having been associated with two individuals and seeing first hand the challanges they face I was spurred to do something in support. This cycle will be a tough challenge but, with these people in mind, I’m looking forward to supporting the charity as they help others with MS.
The plan for this ride is:
DAY 1 : to depart from London on day one and cycle just under 100miles to Harwich on the East Coast of England. A ferry will take the group accross to the Hook of Holland overnight.
DAY 2: Cycle from Holland through to Amsterdam city.
DAY 3: Making the trek from Amsterdam all the way to Brussles.
This will be quite a physical challenge with repeated days of cycling longish distances but it will be a worthwhile challenge and ultimately will mean that funds will be raised to support people who suffer from MS.
For this project to go ahead I need to raise a minimum of £1600.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system. No one knows what causes MS, but with around 100,000 people living with the condition – and seven new people diagnosed every day – it is one of the most common neurological conditions affecting young adults in the UK today. Each person’s experience of MS is unique. Symptoms may include loss of sight and mobility, pain and numbness, slurred speech, loss of balance, depression, fatigue and cognitive problems. MS can, in some cases, lead to severe and permanent disability.
The MS Society is commited to supporting individuals with MS and in particular:
1. Healthcare: quality and specialist healthcare throughout life including access to the right drugs and treatments.
2. Independence: personalised care and support, and wheelchairs and enabling equipment.
3. Support: support in and out of work, and support for carers.
Currently there are only around 220 MS nurses in the UK – less than one nurse for every 400 patients.
In September 2014 I cycled from London to Paris in a similar fund raising effort. The ride was exhausting, I was probably not really fit enough. It was 244miles through the English countryside and then on into the French countryside. It took three days. I had a fantastic time but came home aching and saddle sore. However it was a fantastic sucess - I raised £1915. 96
There are photos from that ride on the Many Many Miles page. Please like on Facebook and support this cause - every little helps :) Thanks for reading.