Saffron Walden cyclist to ride 500 miles in aid of three-year-old boy

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 May 2015

Mike is cycling 500 miles.

Mike is cycling 500 miles.

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Friends going through a difficult time are providing the inspiration for a big-hearted cyclist from Saffron Walden, who has his sights set on covering 500 miles in June.

Mike Edmunds, from Ashdon Road, plans to ride at least 500 miles in June to try and raise £500 for three-year-old Dewi James, who was recently diagnosed with Diplegia Spasticity, a rare form of cerebral palsy.

Dewi and his family need £60,000 for an operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy: a treatment that is, as yet, still in the trial phase with only limited funding that covers just 8 children a year.

With his friends in mind, 34-year-old Mr Edmunds plans to accomplish his pedal-pushing fundraising feat by completing the 78-mile Tour of Cambridgeshire on June 7, the 87-mile Velothon Wales on June 14 – which includes a 6km-long continual ascent – and the 101-mile Walden Velo on June 21.

He says he is confident that the remaining mileage will be completed in various ways on his days off – and he is currently well into his training regime, cycling at least 4 times a week, including up to 40 miles on a Sunday morning.

Mr Edmunds is already very close to his fundraising total on Justgiving and says, if he reaches his target by June, he feels he should try to cycle 1,000km – which is 621 miles.

Dewi is the son of Mr Edmund’s university friend Rob and his wife Deborah, both of whom face their own individual challenges as Rob has severe diabetes and Deborah has narcolepsy. Their daughter Menna, 8, has also just been diagnosed with pre-epilepsy.

Mr Edmunds, who is a member of cycling club Walden Velo, says he would do anything he can to help the family out at this particularly difficult time.

“They put a brave face on a lot,” he said.

“I try to support him – though as a bloke our friendship doesn’t work that we have a catch up on the phone regularly, because blokes don’t do that. But we have been doing that more lately.

“Menna has been a great big sister – she’s doing her own walk up the Brecon Beacons.”

The James family, from Wales, needs to raise the total cost of the operation in order to self-fund in the event that Dewi is not selected as one of the eight children to receive treatment.

Mr Edmunds said: “Even if he has the operation, he will need plenty of money to pay for after-care and physio.”

He added: “Everyone really wants them to reach their total. This is all consuming in their life. Their world has completely changed.”

In order to sponsor Mike on his bike ride, visit www.justgiving.com/cyclingfordewi. xx

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