Richard’s epic cycle ride for friend’s poorly daughter

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A big-hearted Two Dales man is cycling from London to Paris to fundraise for a friend’s daughter who suffers from a degenerative terminal disease.

Richard Cooke hopes to complete the journey in four days and will donate all proceeds to the Society for Mucopolysaccharide Diseases.

The 28 year-old engineer said he was so upset when friend Maggie Louis told him about the condition which has left her 24 year-old daughter Hannah Ratcliffe wheelchair-bound and speechless that he had to do something to help.

Richard, of Porteous Close, said: “This is such a horrible and awful disease and no-one knows about it.

“So I am just hoping to raise some money and spread awareness.”

Although Richard is afairly fit already, he admits this will be the first time he has taken on such a big challenge.

But he added: “I am really excited about it - I have done a lot of half-marathons but never anything like this.

“I’ve done a few 30-mile training rides but if you can do that in the Peak District you can do 80-100 miles per day anywhere.”

Friend Maggie, 57, of Leacroft Road, Winster, said Hannah had always suffered with learning difficulties but her condition was not diagnosed until she was 19.

She said: “It just takes away everything in terms of mobility and speech.

“Hannah went from being a normal, irritating teenager to never saying a word.

“Most children with her condition (Mucopolysaccharide disease type 3) do not reach their teens, so for Hannah to get to her 20s is quite an achievement.

“So you just take each day as it comes and accept every offer of help that comes along.”

Richard’s ride will be sponsored by Peak Ales and the Plough Inn at Two Dales.

He is hoping to raise £1.500 for the Society for Mucopolysaccharide Diseases.

For more information visit www.mpssociety.org.uk.

To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Richard-Cooke88.