Reported by Fife Today – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.
Kinglassie man George Wallace has completed his challenge to cycle the length of the UK to help fund treatment for a Glenrothes girl with cerebral palsy.
George marked his 55th birthday earlier this month by setting off from Lands’ End and by the time he arrived in John O’Groats nine days later had smashed his target of £3000.
The prime motivation behind the challenge was to enable 10-year-old Kayla Bird to travel to Wales as she learns to walk.
Kayla was born 10 weeks premature after suffering a stroke in the womb.
She travelled to America in 2013 for pioneering surgery. It is predicted that with the right equipment and therapy input Kayla should be able to walk independently.
Every six months she visits SDR Fitness Wales and is making great progress, however each trip costs a minimum of £1300.
George wanted to help Kayla as his own eldest son, Graeme, also has cerebral palsy. Initially he had intended to do the ride in July, but lockdown restrictions meant he had to postpone for a month.
Supported by his wife Audrey and her sister Janice, the challenge saw George cover an average of 110 miles a day, as he was back in the saddle for the first time in five years.
The route took him from Lands’ End to Okehampton to Clevedon to Wolverhampton to Preston to Carlisle to Coatbridge to Fort William to Tain to John O’Groats.
Things didn’t go completely smoothly, however, as George got knocked off his bike by a white van on the first day after only five miles.
Thankfully there was no damage to the bike or himself, although there would be further irritation with four punctures in the first four days.
George persevered and the rest of the ride went well as he reached John O’Groats on the ninth day, where there would be a surprise for him.
He said: “I had a wonderful surprise when I saw two of my friends Colin and Laura McAlpine had made the journey to see me complete the trip.
“The day got even better when Kayla turned up on her trike – two unbelievable gestures.
“I would like thank Audrey and Janice for providing support and making sure I had supplies for each day.
“I would also like to thank everyone who sent messages of support and donated to the fund, it kept me going knowing so many people were behind me.”
George’s fundraising page at http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/george-wallace-lands-end-to-john-o-groats is open until the end of the month and he estimates between on and offline donations he’ll have raised around £5000.
This means that not only will Kayla get £3000 towards her treatment, but George will now also be able to help another child, or children, who are suffering from cerebral palsy and needs equipment or physio.
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