Crawley man Stacey Manwill is proving his pedal power to raise funds and awareness of a charity which works to fight Motor Neurone Disease (MND), a condition which has impacted his family directly.
Stacey, 44, who works in telecommunications has been putting his passion for cycling into good use. He has always been a keen cyclist, but since 2009 he has raised money for neuroblastoma, multiple sclerosis and MND.
Sadly, Stacey’s family has a history of MND, with his mother and aunt diagnosed and Stacey recalls when he first saw MND at close quarters in 2009 which spurred on the Tottenham Hotspur supporter to get in the saddle and to get involved with charity fundraising for MND charities.
Motor Neurone Disease Association
The MND Association is dedicated to improve care and support for people affected by Motor Neurone Disease, fund and promote research, and campaign and raise awareness. For more information, visit: www.mndassociation.org or call: 0808 802 6262
He said: “Mum started falling, she was taken to St Thomas hospital. She spent three weeks undergoing tests but nothing was diagnosed. She was discharged and started falling again, this time she was transferred to Kings College.’
“This time the focus was on neurological issues and after around two weeks we got called into Kings. I will never forget the day my mum was informed that she had MND. To be told at the time it was terminal and there was no hope was hard to grasp as I had never heard of MND.’
“My mum and brother started to cry and I just stood there in silence total shocked. My mum was told she had two to five years to live, but she sadly passed away in November 2010. In that time Kings and MNDA kindly supported us.”
Stacey’s Pedal Power!
A couple of Stacey’s memorable cycling challenges include:
October 2016 – A cycle to Brighton’s Preston Park Velodrome, followed by a day of track cycling before a cycle back home to Crawley – 120 miles in a single day.
May 2017 – The #MNDselfiechallenge, Stacey alongside a group of cyclists travelled along the South of England visiting those with MND – 1,500 combined miles in 12 hours.
In September last year Stacey undertook arguably his toughest challenge yet, a cycle ride taking in large swaths of Italy from the floating city of Venice to the nation’s capital, Rome, in central Italy covering 500 miles in five days.
Finishing at the Eternal City’s iconic Colosseum, this was no holiday, as Stacey describes, the cycling is hard on the whole body, at the ride’s conclusion Stacey says the challenge had taken its toll on just about each part of his body, not just his legs but his arms, neck, hands and feet were all suffering.
Despite this, Stacey’s life experiences have motivated him, he says: “Nothing fazes me, I just take every day as it comes and keep as fit as I can.”
By Jacob White