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Saturday, 23 October 2021
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Cyclist’s incredible year-long challenge to raise funds for The Sick Children’s Trust

An enthusiastic cyclist from Barnsley is taking on an incredible year-long fundraiser in which he will pedal at least 15 miles every day in support of The Sick Children’s Trust.

Ryan Pleasants was looking for a new cycling challenge after completing a ride across the Trans Pennine Trail last year. However, this time he wanted to give himself a tougher challenge while also raising funds for charity. Ryan chose The Sick Children’s Trust to thank the charity for supporting his close friend John Percival and his wife, Kelly, with a free place to stay when their daughter, Primrose, needed major surgery at just two days old.

Primrose’s stomach had become disjointed, and she needed surgery at Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital to reconnect it. The family live 40 miles away from the hospital in Barnsley, but thanks to The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ Magnolia House, they were always just minutes from her bedside.

John said:

“Primrose was in hospital for five weeks, and Magnolia House was a massive help. We were always just a few minutes walk from her bedside on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and we could be with her whenever she needed us.

“It would have been a nightmare commuting back and forth from home, but Magnolia House took all that extra stress away as well as giving us a calm place away from the hospital where we could process everything together in our own private room.”

Magnolia House is one of ten ‘Homes from Home’ run by The Sick Children’s Trust giving families a warm and comfortable place to stay close to their seriously ill child’s hospital bedside.

Ryan, who has set the ambitious target of fundraising £10,000, said:

“This is definitely going to be a hard challenge to complete, but supporting this brilliant charity which was so important to John’s family, is definitely getting me in the saddle each day. Even after 12-hour shifts at work!

“I’ve been preparing for this challenge since the summer, so I am physically and mentally ready. I have an indoor bike which has been so important during the winter months and the more difficult weather conditions.

“The rides are going well, and I’ve been getting loads of support from friends and family, especially John, who is checking in with me and keeping me motivated every day. There’s still a long time to go, but I’m looking forward to the warmer months and brighter days and reaching my target!”

While staying in one of the charity’s ‘Homes from Home’ is free, The Sick Children’s Trust relies entirely on voluntary donations to keep its ‘Homes from Home’ running, being there to make sure as many families as possible can be together. A donation of £30 gives a family with a seriously ill child in hospital a comfortable place to stay and a friendly ear to listen.

Ann Wyatt, Magnolia House Manager, said:

“This is an amazing challenge that Ryan is taking on to support his friend John, as well as our ‘Homes from Home’, which is so important to so many families while their child is seriously ill in hospital.

“Due to the pandemic, our supporters have not been able to host as many fundraising events, and we predict to lose between 25-30% of our income. As a charity, we solely rely on the generosity of our supporters, like Ryan, to keep our ‘Homes from Home’ running, and we are so grateful for his support.”

To donate to Ryan’s fundraiser, head over to his JustGiving page.

For further information about The Sick Children’s Trust, please visit: sickchildrenstrust.org.

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