100-mile challenge for Kaiden

Kaiden Rankin and his mum Toni
Kaiden Rankin and his mum Toni
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A BIG-hearted businessman will cycle 100 miles to help provide a disabled child with a specialist pram.

Lee Atherton, 40, is preparing to cycle from Kirkstone Pass in the Lake District to The Starting Gate Pub, in Chain Lane, St Helens, on Sunday, May 20, to raise money for 23-month-old Kaiden Rankin.

Lee Atherton, right, a volunteer for Wigan Sports Development is cycling 100 miles from the Lake District to St Helens in support of Kaiden Rankin. He will be supported along the way by boxer Martin Murray

Lee Atherton, right, a volunteer for Wigan Sports Development is cycling 100 miles from the Lake District to St Helens in support of Kaiden Rankin. He will be supported along the way by boxer Martin Murray

Kaiden was born with X-linked hydrocephalus, and also sufferes from Pierre Robin syndrome, a cleft palate, colitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, abducted thumbs, and hearing loss.

Any funds raised will go towards a specially adapted pram which costs £3,600, and would make a huge difference to Kaiden’s life.

Lee, who is from Billinge, said: “I do a lot of work with Wigan Sport Development’s Back to Sport initiative with local boxer Martin Murray and we do a bike ride every year for charity.

“I know Kaiden’s mum, Toni, and so I decided to fundraise for him, as I know where the money is going.

“Normally Martin would ride with me, but he is preparing for a big fight, so he will be supporting me in a van.”

Lee, a property landlord, has already managed to raise a large amount of money and has gained a lot of support from local businesses.

Kaiden’s mum, Toni Ward, 26, of Traverse Street, St Helens, said: “Kaiden was born with X linked hydrocephalus, which is genetic. Women carry the gene, but boys are affected.

“As a result, he has had a lot of health problems.

“After he was released from hospital we found out he had Pierre Robin syndrome and gastroesophageal reflux disease, which meant he could not feed, so he had to be fed through a gastrostomy feeding tube.

“He still can’t sit up and support his head and he can’t crawl. If he doesn’t sit up by the age of two, there is a chance he will never walk.”

If you would like to contribute, contact Lee Atherton on 07523937701 or email motor71head@hotmail.com.

Well wishers can also drop into the Starting Gate pub on May 20 for a fun day, where there willl be a bouncy castle,