Buxton dad to cycle 300 miles to Paris

Buxton fundraiser Jim Lowe, with his late daughter Rachel, who died of meningitis aged 15 in 2003. Photo contributed.
Buxton fundraiser Jim Lowe, with his late daughter Rachel, who died of meningitis aged 15 in 2003. Photo contributed.

A Buxton man is attempting his own mini Tour de France and cycling from London to Paris for charity in memory of his daughter.

Jim Lowe set himself the gruelling two-wheeled challenge to raise funds for the Meningitis Research Foundation, after his 15-year-old, Rachel, died suddenly from the disease in April 2003.

Jim, an ambassador for the charity, will pedal just under 300 miles in four days, after setting off from the capital on July 23.

Rachel, a former New Mills School pupil, died in hospital in Manchester little over 15 hours after first displaying symptoms.

The 57-year-old dad, who has already raised £12,000 for the foundation in the past, said: “She lost her life at a frightening speed to a brutal and unforgiving disease. She was 15-years-old and was absolutely full of life.

“Losing her was a devastating blow to our family and her friends. Those of us who knew and loved her lost a very special and irreplaceable person.”

He added: “In the years following Rachel’s death we found that our family wasn’t the only one to have this experience. The foundation helped alert us to the terrible suffering meningitis has caused and continues to cause many other individuals and families.

“Over the last few years, some fantastic steps forward have been made, financed by public donations, through organisations like the foundation.

“I hope to raise as much money as possible to fund more life-saving research into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis. Also to continue to raise awareness of the disease in both the general public and health professionals and to provide support for those individuals and families affected by the disease.”

Jim, who hopes to raise £1,500, said: “Training is going well. Unfortunately, I am no longer a spring chicken. The old bike and me feel it occasionally, especially going up some of those tough hills we get around the Peak District but so far so good!”

Christopher Head, chief executive at Meningitis Research Foundation, said: “We are extremely grateful to Jim for cycling from London to Paris on our behalf. As he is sadly aware meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases which can strike without warning, killing in hours.”

To sponsor Jim, visit his fundraising page at justgiving.com/Jim-Lowe.

For information on the signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia, call the free helpline on 080 8800 3344, visit meningitis.org or download the free app Meningitis – Know the Symptoms.