Cyclists 1,000 mile challenge for kids

RIDING HIGH From left, Michael Campbell, Liam Ballinger, Hadde Kordab and Jody Morris.
RIDING HIGH From left, Michael Campbell, Liam Ballinger, Hadde Kordab and Jody Morris.
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A group of amateur cyclists are to take on a gruelling 1,000 mile bike ride to raise money for a charity which supports families of sick children.

The four riders, from Leeds, Wakefield and Batley, will cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 13 days in aid of the Sick Children’s Trust, which provides accommodation for parents of children having hospital treatment.

They were inspired to raise money for the charity after it supported rider Liam Ballinger’s family when his six-year-old niece, Jessica Morris, was undergoing major surgery a heart and lung disorder just days after she was born at Sheffield Children’s Hospital in 2006.

Liam’s wife Lauren is a Reporter Series journalist.

Liam, 29, of Hanging Heaton, Batley, said: “As well as her heart and lung disorder, Jess has many other serious conditions which has meant she often needs hospital treatment for up to 10 weeks at a time.

“Her condition is unique and unprecedented and she has been described by specialists as a ‘medical marvel, with her case recorded in medical journals.

“Treetop House in Sheffield provided accommodation for Jess’s mum Jo and dad Lee, and Jessica’s sister Melissa and brother James whenever they needed it. The charity has no other funding other than charity donations. The money will be used to help the Sick Children’s Trust build a brand new facility in Sheffield. It will mean the world to me, especially in light of what they have already done for my family.”

Joining Liam are Jody Morris, of East Ardsley, Wakefield; Hadde Kordab, of Armley, Leeds; and

Michael Campbell, of Roundhay, Leeds.

The riders will set off from Land’s End in Cornwall on May 4, cycling up to 100 miles a day on a carefully planned route before they arrive in John O’ Groats, Scotland, on May 18. More details can be found on their blog at bikebritain.wordpress.com.

The group is hoping to raise £2,500 which Liam and Hadde’s employers, O2, has promised to match.

Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/cyclingforkids.