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Bike mission for battling Joe

Neil Wearden and Chris Mercer who are preparing for a Lands End to John O'Groats cycle to raise money for Joe's Dream to Walk and have been provided with a sponsored car by Honda Blackpool, Neil and Chris pictured with, support team Mick Dawson and Dennis Spence and Simon Carter and Dave Pope from Honda Blackpool

Neil Wearden and Chris Mercer who are preparing for a Lands End to John O'Groats cycle to raise money for Joe's Dream to Walk and have been provided with a sponsored car by Honda Blackpool, Neil and Chris pictured with, support team Mick Dawson and Dennis Spence and Simon Carter and Dave Pope from Honda Blackpool

A charity bike ride spanning more than 1,000 miles is set to raise money for a four-year-old boy.

Neil Wearden and Chris Mercer are in the final stages of preparing for their Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle, which is being carried out this month to raise money for Joe’s Dream to Walk.

It is supporting Joe Knowles, who is currently in Leeds recovering from an operation to help him walk as the youngster suffers from cerebral palsy.

The charity was set up to help fund the operation, which couldn’t be carried out on the NHS, and his follow-up physiotherapy.

The duo plan to ride up to 160 miles every day for six days, setting off at 6am.

Chris, 45, said: “This is all about Joe.

“When we heard about the campaign to help him we knew we wanted to take part. This is a lad who just wants to get on in life, and we can help make a difference.”

Chris said describes himself as a “reasonably good” cyclist, but a charity trek is nothing new for retained firefighter Neil, who took part in the Tower to Tower cycle last year for Brian House children’s hospice.

“When you see kids suffering, you just want to do all you can to help,” Chris added.

Joe, of Bispham, underwent a huge operation last week on his leg muscles, which are so tight he has been unable to walk without a frame.

His parents, Mike and Sue, say he is recovering well and coping well with physiotherapy.

Speaking of the challenge ahead of him, Chris said: “Most people do this challenge between 10 and 12 days, but we feel we can do it in six even if it means we’re cycling 15 hours a day.”

The cycling pair will receive support throughout their trek, which kicks off on June 20, from Mick Dawson and Dennis Spence who will act as their support team.

They have also been given a sponsor car by Honda Blackpool which will be with them along the way.

To support them visit www.justgiving.com/Chris-Mercer1.

 

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