AN INSPIRATIONAL fundraiser is set to cycle more than 1,000km in the latest in a string of international charity efforts to fund the MS Therapy Centre.
Richard Halsall, from Southport, has gone to extraordinary lengths to raise money for the MS Therapy Centre for his wife Carol, who has Multiple Sclerosis.
The retired transport manager, 61, has previously completed a gruelling trek across Peru in Southport America, walking 60km a day for five day, from Cuzco to Machu Picchu. He has walked across the Sahara Desert in north Africa, trekked along the Great Wall of China and cycled across Britain from Southport to Scarborough. Between his challenges, he has raised nearly £90,000 for the MS Trust.
He is now embarking on his new challenge, cycling ‘the equivalent of from Southport to Paris.’ It will take him 55 minutes every day for 55 days but to comply with the lockdown he is doing the equivalent of the 1,060km journey on a static bike or cycling around his home town of Southport.
Richard, 61, said: “I am doing this challenge because my wife, Carol, is living with Multiple Sclerosis. She was diagnosed in 2005 and I have been raising funds and awareness for the MS Trust over the last 12 years. I have cycled and trekked over four continents and cycled coast to coast across the UK four times.
“We started to use the MS Therapy Centre in Trafford 18 months ago and found the staff, volunteers and members to be amazing. Everyone was so friendly. The centre is self-funded and needs funds to continue running and finance our move to new premises planned for next year.”
Richard worked for Arriva in the North West for many years until his retirement. He worked for Arriva for 35 years and finished based in Manchester, where he was Head of Operations covering Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Cheshire.
He said: “I have retired early from Arriva and not done much since, I have just been looking after Carol. We started to go over to the therapy centre in Trafford 21 months ago. It's just an amazing place, offering different therapies such as their oxygen chamber, physio, yoga and wheelchair-based dance, counselling, complementary therapies helping people with MS, strokes, cancer and other ailments. I have volunteered at the centre for the last 12 months and last week agreed to become a trustee.”
Joining Richard will be his 33-year-old daughter, Stephanie, who lives in South Korea.
He said: “My daughter, Stephanie, who lives in South Korea, is also doing the challenge over there, the equivalent of Seoul to Hiroshima, 606km. She has been in Korea for the past 10 years. She is married with two young children, Kodi and Theo.
“She is full of praise on how they have managed the coronavirus. She was over here for Christmas and went back in early February, just before things really started to spread. We have been talking most days. She has been really concerned for us.
“We will post updates every day along our journey and let people know where we stop with pictures of local surroundings. If you would like to join us one day you are welcome! Just get on a static bike or cycle around your local area. Please donate £5 to a worthy cause all money donated will go straight to the charity.”
To donate, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/richard-halsall or text 70085 with the code TMSTCNW5 to give £5 or TMSTCNW10 to give £10.