By Ewan Foskett
Saturday, May 5, 2012
A CHANCE meeting down the pub has led a group of dads to undertake a gruelling cycling challenge to help a disabled toddler with a rare neurological condition and their village school.
The five-strong team from Guilden Morden will all attempt to ride 135 miles from Whitehaven, Cumbria, to Whitley Bay, Tyneside, in one day.
Three-year-old RETT syndrome sufferer Edie Appleby and Guilden Morden Primary School are set to benefit.
The currently incurable syndrome leaves the afflicted mentally undeveloped, meaning Edie may never walk, talk, and could possibly regress, losing skills she already has.
Scott Mills, who has never tried a charity challenge before, said: “Little Edie’s family have been in the village probably about three or four years and she became a family friend.
“She was diagnosed not too long ago with RETT syndrome and it was something that moved us to try and help in some way.
“She is the most beautiful little girl and she melts hearts. All the dads met her on Sunday and it really hammered it home and has given us that little extra drive to get it done.”
Mr Mills and his co-riders Simon Tate, Martin Talbot, Dave Munns and Mark Robinson hope to raise cash to help Edie’s parents build a sensory room to aid her development.
And the school will receive new library books from the donations.
Despite the good causes Mr Mills is under no illusions to how hard it will be for the team, who are all aged between 40 and 45-years-old, to complete the tough trail.
“A couple of the dads have done other bits, one of them did an iron man a few years ago and one of them has one done a sponsored triathlon,” said the father-of-one, who recently turned 40.
“We have got a couple of dads who are still fit but they have slipped by the wayside over the last couple of years. I would say I’m one of the weakest links at 19 stone and 6ft 2’.
“The training has been hard and I had a little accident and came off which has made me worry a little bit about gong out in the wet.
“It has been hard when you get up and you know you have to ride and the wind is howling and the rain is coming down.”
The date has been set for May 26 and the team hope to raise £2,000 for Edie and £500 for the school.
To donate log on to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Edies_friends and https://mydonate.bt.com/events/ guildenmordenptac2c/75234