A five-strong team of cyclists from Tees chemical company SABIC has raised more than £7,000 for charity via a 500-mile bike ride – and all in the name of brave two-year-old Jack Miller.
Colleagues Alan Ball, Andy Phelps, Simon Whitfield, Michael Fascia and Tom Robinson, who all work on SABIC’s LDPE plant at Wilton, cycled 475 miles from the company’s Teesside plant, near Redcar, to another in Geleen, in the Netherlands.
The charity riders smashed their original £5,000 fundraising target with their epic return journey from Teesside to the Netherlands.
They are now set to hand bumper-sized cheques to Teesside charities that support Jack and other children who suffer severe neurological conditions.
Nunthorpe toddler Jack, whose dad Andrew is a colleague of the super-cyclists, is just one of 100 people born with ADSL (Adenylosuccinate lyase) deficiency, which means he is unable to speak or move around.
Inspired by Jack’s bravery in facing such challenges Jack difficulties faced by Jack, the team of five –– spent four days cycling to Geleen and back, assisted by support drivers Sean Cunningham and Phil Berry driving a van supplied by Northgate.
They will share the cash pot between Teesside charities Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice, Remembering Rebecca and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Remembering Rebecca supports children with neurological conditions by providing expensive specialist equipment such as supportive seating, sensory equipment and specialist car seats, while Zoe’s Place provides specialist respite care to Jack and other children with similar conditions.
Jack, whose severe neurological condition that requires a huge amount of special care, recently spent two weeks in the PICU at James Cook Hospital.
Alan Ball, maintenance engineer for LDPE and event organiser of the bike marathon, said: “Jack and his family are an inspiration to us all. The weather was challenging and we all had low moments whilst riding so far but the thought of letting Jack down soon motivated us to push on.”
Dad Andrew, who is manager reliability and integrity at SABIC’s LDPE plant, said he and wife Debbie would always be grateful for the support his colleague had shown.
He said: “It’s just incredible what the guys did in Jack’s name. We can’t thank them enough.
“We’re overwhelmed by the generous donations too. Having experienced first-hand the great work these local charities do for Jack and other children like him, we know every pound donated will really make a difference to them and their families.”