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My friend Anthony Lewis suffered a debilitatiing stroke at the age of 39, severely affecting his speech and motor skills . A superb journalist and raconteur, he has not allowed his situation to inhibit his talent for communication. On the contrary, he has thrown himself into new challenges at every turn in a tireless effort to raise awareness of, and funds for, stroke victims. He has regained his driving licence, completed the local marathon, and now he has inspired 124 others (the number of people affected locally each year) to cycle with him from London to Paris in September 2012.
None of us are professional sportspeople - just ordinary folk from all walks of life who like a challenge. We are all having to take time off work - unpaid in my case - but I hope you agree that the four days of gruelling drudgery and painful build-up of lactic acid over 300 mileswill be well worth the effort and a few quid. I have begun training and I have padded shorts. Day 1 alone requires a 90 mile trek! I will be racking up the miles between now and September, and hopefully raising cash on my travels. Updates will follow. For more information on Anthony's trip, visit fundraising events at www.stroke.org.uk/fundraising
Thanks once again for your support - I shall wear it always