The entire community has got onboard to help a family raise thousands of pounds for a cause close to their hearts.
After watching his ten–year–old daughter Megan undergo treatment for juvenile arthritis, Phil Maycock, of Dimple Road, Matlock, decided he wanted to do something to help the cause.
Now the 38–year–old has formed ‘Team Megan’ with close friends Marcus Smith, David Watts, Nick Jenkins, Andrew Hodkin, Pete Denton, Jake Hodkin and Martin Bonsall and together the eight men plan to cycle the 300 miles from London to Paris to raise money for Arthritis Research UK.
The youngster was diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile arthritis in October 2012, when she nine years old.
Phil said: “We feel very very lucky that we had a mild case. When we go to hospital we see some cases that are really bad – some who can’t walk properly.”
Mum Julie explained: “Megan had a swollen finger that was affecting her writing. We were sent to Sheffield Children’s Hospital and they told us she’d got arthritis in ten of her joints.”
Megan underwent an operation in which her joints were injected with steroids.
Initially, her parents had to inject her once a week with medication that made her extremely sick. After a year, her treatment was changed to twice–weekly injections of a different medication, which has no side effects.
When she was first diagnosed, Megan was worried about people finding out about her condition, however she recently plucked up the courage to tell her classmates at All Saints Junior School about it and now she is enjoying life as a normal ten–year–old. She plays for cricket for Derbyshire under 11s and is hopeful that one day her condition will go away.
She commented: “I like the fact that my dad is doing the bike ride. He’s not really doing it for me because the doctors have helped me a lot and I’m not going to end up in a wheelchair. He’s doing it for all the other children who don’t get the chance to go to doctors as soon as I did.”
Team Megan will set off from London on May 7 and expect the trip to take four days.
Various events have been held to raise money for the charity, including a ‘diamond dip’ at C W Sellors, a spinathon at Arc Leisure, a band night at the Loft and a racing night at Darley Dale Cricket Club. Little Monkeys, in Two Dales, will host a fashion show for Team Megan from 6.45pm on May 27. Tickets cost £5 and are available from the play centre.
So far around £17,000 has been raised for the cause.
The Maycock family gave their thanks to everyone who has donated and supported their cause. To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/teammegan