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Friends take on 621 mile cycle challenge at Rutland Water

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Kathryn Drakard and Giles Houston with their bikes at Rutland Water. By Lee Hellwing.
Kathryn Drakard and Giles Houston with their bikes at Rutland Water. By Lee Hellwing.

Giles Houston and Kathryn Drakard at Rutland Water Photo: Lee Hellwing

Giles Houston, of Oakham, and Kathryn Drakard, of Manton, will be getting on their bikes every day in May in order to reach their target.

They hope to raise £10,000 through the challenge, which they were inspired to complete as they each have a friend who suffers from motor neurone disease - which affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord that tell muscles what to do.

Any money raised will be handed to the Motor Neurone Disease Association, which supports sufferers of the condition, and to pay for their friends’ medical care.

Giles said: “To support a charity is one thing - to support an individual is more powerful.

“I feel quite strongly about doing this.

“It’s something I have wanted to do for a while. I am giving something back because I can.

“It will help me raise a few quid and keep awareness up of about the disease.

Giles, a former manager of a video conferencing business, met Rob, who is completely paralysed, when he was living in France and has watched in horror as his friend’s health deteriorated as a result of the disease.

“Rob needs medical care – he has to be looked after 24/7. Carers come in and give his wife some respite,” Giles said.

“It is pretty devastating to watch the progression of the disease.”

Kathryn’s friend, who does not want to be named, lives in Barnsdale, and needs constant care.

Next year her friend wants to travel to the US to be treated by a neurologist. Any funds raised in the cycling challenge will go towards this trip or towards medical equipment for his home.

Giles is a keen cyclist and has been completing a training programme with the help of Oakham Cycle Centre, while stay-at-home mum Kathryn has just started her training but is confident she will be fit enough to complete the challenge.

The pair will be joined by some of their friends and family on their cycles at Rutland Water.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association funds and promotes global research into motor neurone disease and provides support to people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

To donate to Giles and Kathryn visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/giles-houston

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