My Giving It Back adventure started on 29th July 2016 - you can read below the story of why my family and friends cycled 104 miles from Watford to Kent, in memory of my awesome dad, John.
Since waving goodbye to my family in Kent, I have travelled over 1000 miles on foot, two wheels and splashed in the sea - moving around the coast of England to Give It Back. I have cycled, swam and ran for up to 6 days of the week, and volunteered at different organsiations along the way.
WHY? I have been asked! "Why not!", I reply! There are many reasons why, and by sharing them I hope it highlights that ANYONE really can go on an adventure, and that adventures bring life [changing] experiences, challenges and life-long memories.
* To raise awareness and funds for two charities close to my heart -Parkinson's UK and Ataxia UK.
* To raise awareness about being an organ donor - it's a simply act of kindness that is easy to sign up too (follow this link - www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-to-donate/register-your-details/) and can save people's lives. My dad was a hero - he donated his kindey's and saved two young people lives.
* To volunteer and give something back - i've taught chair aerobics, movement/yoga classes in retirement homes and volunteered to support a Donkey Sanctuary (Nailsworth Donkey Sanctuary). It's been a great way to meet the locals, make new friends, learn about the community I arrived in and to simply give something back.
* To learn more about myself - i've experienced extreme highs and lows, tested my limitations and broken myself to tears, and as a result learnt more about myself and what I want from life.
My journey started in Kent and I head north, traveling up the east coast, across the Scottish boarder, down west side, and now I find myself on the South coast, only a few hundred miles from my finish point - Westgate!
It's been an incredible journey that has not been possible without many people - from friends who kindly gave up their time to support me on the trip, to emails and messages i've received along the way and people kindly donating. So huge thanks to you all, and thank you for helping me raise money for these amazing charities.
Peace, love and lots of adventures to you all.
Elaine : )
At the age of 14 and the oldest of 4, John decided not to join the
removal van with his family to move to his new home in Kent! Oh no, he thought it was a good idea to hop on his bike and cycle 104 miles to Ramsgate (via Canterbury to visit his Nan!), stopping off to note down bus numbers and take in the sites of London and the Kent countryside. John was always a super active man, loving his cricket and football, and enjoying a laugh with his family and friends. John also supported a number of charities throughout his life, along side his family and friends, to help raise awareness and money for Parkinson UK and Ataxia UK.
John was diagnosed with Ataxia and Parkinson’s and lived with these diseases for almost 8 years. Both degenerative neurological diseases that interfere with the cerebellum - the motor memory powerhouse of our brain that helps us co-ordinate movement, speech, writing, eating. Although John had to adapt his life to using a wheelchair and getting about at a slower pace, he always had a fighting spirit and witty sense of humor. Sadly on the 1st February 2016 we said goodbye to John, not because of Parkinson’s or Ataxia, but to a cardiac arrest. We know he is now enjoying running around a cricket pitch again, watching the Euro 2016 footie and probably thinking 'what are you nutty cyclists doing'!!!
On Friday 29th July 2016, a group of determined (and slightly bonkers!!) wanna be cyclists are going to make the same journey as John, leaving at midnight from the home ground of his favourite football team - Watford. The 'John's 104 Mile Bike Ride' team are going to make their way through London at night, crossing over Tower Bridge to head south east via Dartford out to Kent. 6am Gillingham, at the 55-mile point, we will indulge in a big breakfast and pick up a team of another crazy cyclists who will join the final 49 miles. We will cruz through Whitstable; welcome our final team of lovely cyclists at Reculver to all enjoy the final leg of the journey to Westgate in Kent.
This event is not just about the cyclists physical journey, its about all the people who have volunteered to get involved to help be the support team/vehicle, organise the finishing party/BBQ and arrange sponsorship. All these people want to help raise awareness and funds for PARKINSON UK and ATAXIA UK, and would super appreciate any support and/or donations to this exciting and challenging event.
John's 104 mile Bike Ride is an event for everyone to get involved in, to help celebrate the life of John Macey, how he kicked Parkinson’s and Ataxia's butts, and we can help continue kicking their butts by raising money for these two amazing charities! We warmly invite you to either join the cycle team (full, half or last 8 miles) or join us at a celebratory BBQ and fun on Westgate beach from 10-11am.
Thank you for reading, thank you donating, and thank you for helping us celebrate our funny, talented and lovely dad, husband, brother, uncle, friend.... John Macey.
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