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Vernon McCarthy completes the challenge of a lifetime

posted Sep 30, 2015, 2:08 AM by Dianne James
A man living with Parkinson’s has completed the challenge of a lifetime – cycling almost 1,000 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats for Parkinson’s UK.

Through his efforts, Vernon McCarthy, 67, from Rhondda, Wales has now raised more than £9,000 for the Parkinson’s support and research charity.

He took on the cycle with 44 others as part of an organised tour between the two iconic destinations.

Vernon said: “It was challenging but exciting at the same time. We cycled for 12 days so it was intense but I’ve made some friends for life.

“After my Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2012, problems with balance meant I had to give up sports like running and hobbies like walking, but through trial and error I found that I could balance on a bike. And now being on a bike feels like therapy for me.”

Many other people on the ride were also cycling for a charity but Vernon was the only participant living with the health condition he was raising money for. His fellow riders were so impressed that they presented him with a yellow jersey at the end, saying he was the ‘rider of the tour’.

Vernon adds: “We all crossed the finish line together and didn’t want to get off the bikes! I was overwhelmed to be presented with the shirt on the final night, it was an emotional end to the whole experience.

“I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve received, especially from my wife Maxine. People have been so generous in helping me prepare for the cycle and helping me to fundraise too.”

Vernon raised the funds through sponsorship, events and placing collection boxes in his local community, he still has around 20 of the boxes to collect so hopes to reach a final total of £10,000.

Paul Jackson-Clark, Director of Fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, said: “I would like to say a massive thank you to Vernon for taking on such a challenging cycle, and congratulations on raising a fantastic amount in the process.

“As the UK’s leading Parkinson’s support and research charity we’re closer than ever to finding a cure, but our work is dependent on donations and fundraisers like Vernon.”

There is still time to donate on Vernon’s justgiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/Vernon-McCarthy2/

Source:  Charity Today
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