Pals who cycled to Paris raise thousands for fund

Photo courtesy of Stuart King: Back row  Steve Castle, Jonny Handley, Myriam Barker, Darren Rudge-Cox, Daniel Howarth
Photo courtesy of Stuart King: Back row  Steve Castle, Jonny Handley, Myriam Barker, Darren Rudge-Cox, Daniel Howarth
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A GROUP OF friends who cycled 270 miles from Wembley Stadium to the Stade de France in Paris in aid of the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) have raised over £5,000.

Gary Duncanson’s son Billy was diagnosed with a rare heart condition at just two weeks old and needed a six-hour operation at Leeds General Infirmary to survive.

Mr Duncanson, 35, from York, wanted to help the CHSF which relies entirely on charity donations to fund equipment and research into heart defects in children - as well as supporting families.

They broke their £2,000 target within weeks of setting up their JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/gary-duncanson - and this page is still open for donations.

Last weekend they met Myriam Barker, Community Fundraiser for the CHSF, and presented her with a cheque for £4,481.61 – which will rise to more than £5,000 when Gift Aid contributions are added.

As well as Mr Duncanson, his friends Steve Castle, Jonny Handley, Daniel Howarth and Darren Rudge-Cox joined in the tough challenge, which was much further than any of them had ever cycled before. They managed to arrive in Paris hours before the opening game of Euro 2016.

Billy is now a healthy two-year-old happy at home with mum Jenny Dorman, 29, and four-year-old brother Lucas. Gary, a Leeds United season ticket holder, said: “The donations were incredible – it really is for a fantastic charity and your money will help save childrens’ lives. Thank you so, so much to all our partners, families, friends and everyone who donated and supported us.”