A RYEDALE man is gearing up for a gruelling cross country mountain bike ride in support of his nephew who suffers from a rare form of cancer.
Dale Horsfall, of Kirkbymoorside, has challenged himself to bike the length of Hadrian’s Wall in under 48 hours on March 15 – an endurance test made even more daunting by the 118 miles of rough, bleak moorland and the likely sleep deprivation that will come with it.
But the well-known window cleaner has pledged to finish the challenge and raise as much money and awareness as possible for CHECT – the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust – which has supported his four-year-old nephew, Ryder Tomlinson, since he was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma as an infant.
“When I go through to see my sister Laura and Ryder in Malton, I always ride my bike,” said Dale. “Everytime I go there, Ryder always wants to sit on my bike and never stops going on about it so that’s where I got the idea to do Ride for Ryder.”
He added: “It will be a tall order. We are going through some dense countryside for the length of Hadrian’s Wall – around 118 miles – and all in 48 hours. On the road, you can do that distance in a day but off road is a different matter
“A 60 mile cross country bike ride absolutely drains me but I’m determined not to let anyone down – I’m not just doing it for Ryder but for every child with Retinoblastoma.”
The condition, which affects around 40 children each year, has left Ryder blind in his right eye and in need of check-ups at Birmingham Hospital every six to eight weeks, along with his younger brother and sister who have the same hereditary chromosome.
So far they have been given the all clear.
His parents Laura and Scott, who have five children in total, are grateful for the help of CHECT who have been involved with the family from the start of Ryder’s treatment.
Laura said: “Most times we go to Birmingham, we will see one of the support workers or they are easily accessible by email or phone. They fund a lot of treatment for Retinoblastoma and have become a vital part of our family’s life.
“They are good at putting other families in touch so if you are having it a bit tough there’s always someone to talk to or help you understand which is very helpful.”
She added: “I’m proud of Dale. I think it’s a brilliant thing he is doing. As well as raising money for the charity that means a lot to us, he is hopefully raising awareness for those people who don’t know about Retinoblastoma as well. It’s having a double impact.”
Support for Dale and Ride for Ryder has been easy to find.
David Beeley, of Big Bear Bikes in Pickering, is providing a support vehicle, a full tank of fuel and help with nutrition while window cleaning company owner John Mathers, of Touch of Glass, is paying for food and accommodation.
John will also take part in the ride along with friends Andrew Downing and Ben Sneddon.
l To support Dale and Ryder visit the Ride for Ryder Facebook page and follow the link to Justgiving.com. Alternatively, text RYDE78 and whatever donation you wish to make to 70070.