My name is Carmen and I am a Masters’ student here at Anglia Ruskin University. Together with my boyfriend we have decided to do something really crazy and challenging and fun this summer: a sponsored cycle ride! On the 17th August, we are set to leave Lowestoft Ness, Suffolk (the easternmost point of England) and head west, towards Land’s End, Cornwall (the westernmost point of mainland England). We have taken a couple of weeks off work for it, but the plan is to complete the trip in 8-10 days.
The total mileage of the trip will be close to 600 miles, as we have chosen the more scenic route (as can be seen in the map below), following the southern coast, through a couple of national parks and also visiting Stonehenge along the way. We are doing this by ourselves and will be carrying our entire luggage, camping equipment and repair kits on the bikes.
The reason why we are doing this is to raise money and awareness of Dravet Syndrome, which is a rare and severe form of epilepsy that emerges in infancy. As well as longer seizures, Dravet Syndrome also affects the development of the child, often slowing their learning capabilities.
My youngest niece was diagnosed with this syndrome over a year ago now. She is only two and a half years old, and it is heart-breaking to see such a lovely, happy girl going through all the hospitalisations and taking handfuls of pills. Also, she can only say very short basic words, and has difficulties walking without help.
So, this cycle ride is our way to fight back against this cruel disease, for which no cure has been found to date. All the money we raise will go to Dravet Romania, which was founded less than a year ago by my sister-in-law together with other parents of children suffering from Dravet Syndrome. The association supports families across Romania affected by severe cases of epilepsy and facilitates access to expensive treatment options. I would like to emphasise that none of the money raised will go towards covering our trip costs, we are funding it entirely through our own means, from bikes to accommodation.
If you would like to read more about our trip, follow us along the way, or sponsor our cause, you can find us at www.carbenitavsdravet.blogspot.com or @carbenita (Twitter).