A Crawley dad is set to cycle more than 160 miles to raise money for a charity which combats the fatal condition his three-year-old son is suffering from.
Paul Reynolds, 38, a Metropolitan police officer who lives in Crawley, will take on the gruelling bike ride from London to Paris with two colleagues, Alan Humphrey and Tony Timthong.
Paul explained why the trio are taking on the trip, he said: “Three years ago our lives changed forever when my wife and I received news our three-month-old son Oliver had been diagnosed with a terminal muscle wasting condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
“We learned that there is no cure for this cruel disease and it is 100 per cent fatal.
“The condition means Oliver cannot produce a protein called Dystrophine, this in turn means Oliver’s muscles don’t have the ability to repair and make themselves stronger, instead they will weaken over time and turn to scar tissue and fat.
“The disease means Oliver will require a wheelchair early on in his life , ultimately the condition leads to total paralysis with Duchenne finally and cruelly stealing my son’s life away.
“Since Oliver’s diagnosis my passion for cycling has grown. I’m no expert or athlete i just ride to clear my mind and focus on something else!
“On June 28 myself and two friends (Alan and Tony) have taken on the challenge to ride from London to Paris in 24 hours.
“The route takes us from Marble Arch through the English countryside to Newhaven, where we catch the overnight ferry and get our four hours of rest before the final 106-mile slog form Dieppe to Paris with nearly 5000 feet of elevation (167 miles in total).
“The challenge is self- organised, self funded and self motivated - all to raise money and awareness for charity to invest in research to find a cure for my son and the other boys that suffer from this awful condition.
“Research is our only hope and hope is all we have.”
The charity which Paul is supporting is called Harrison’s Fund and was set up by a another dad who’s son has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
It has a simple mission statement: ‘To get as much money as possible into the hands of the world’s best researchers, who are working to find a cure for Duchenne.
‘It sounds like a horrible disease. And it is. Which is why we want to eradicate it.’
To find out more visit https://harrisonsfund.com, and to support Paul’s bike ride go to ttps://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-reynolds21.