AN 18-year-old from Baildon will begin a 200 mile charity challenge bike ride today to raise funds for Diabetes UK in memory of his father.
Isaac Perry of Oakleigh View, Baildon, will be completing the ride as a tribute to his father, Mike Perry who died in April and was in training for the 200 cycle challenge from Edinburgh to Newcastle.
He planned to complete it for his 52nd birthday but died, suddenly, while on business in Birmingham.
Isaac, who turned 18 on Sunday, is determined to finish the cycle for his father, doing the route that Mike planned to take and wearing the racing top his father would have worn.
Isaac said: “This bike ride means so much to me as dad trained unbelievably hard - Dad wasn’t the best diabetic but he may well have been the fittest.
“Cycling isn’t exactly a passion of mine, the ride is to raise as much money as possible to improve the lives of people with diabetes and in turn their families, however, it is also to do my dad proud,” he said.
Isaac will tackle the ride with five school friends from Woodhouse Grove and be joined by his sister Libby during the two-day ride.
His mother, Anita, who will be driving one of the support vehicles for the trip, said Mike originally set himself a target of raising £2,000 for Diabetes UK but the family now hopes to raise £5,000.
“Michael was passionate about raising money for Diabetes UK. We have raised around £4,500 so far and we hope to get the total over £5,000,’ Mrs Perry said.
Before he died, Mr Perry had spoken to Diabetes UK about the reasons for doing the challenge. He said: “I wanted to raise money for Diabetes UK because of the wonderful support they gave me which helped me manage my condition. I also really look forward to a cure for Type 1 diabetes, especially for the kids.”
About 10 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 1 – which is not caused by obesity or other lifestyle choices and isn’t currently unpreventable.
It usually affects the children or young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly.
Katie Hall, Regional Fundraiser for Diabetes UK’s Northern and Yorkshire region, said: “Isaac’s decision to take part in this challenge in his father’s memory is a lovely tribute to Mike and it is wonderful that his friends and family are supporting him by cycling alongside him. Diabetes UK continues to tackle the challenge of diabetes on many fronts, by providing information, advice and support, campaigning for improved healthcare services and funding pioneering research into care, cure and prevention of all types of diabetes.”
For more information on Type 1 diabetes visit www.diabetes.org.uk