A team of four from Dorchester are gearing up to take on one of the toughest cycling challenges in the world - the Race Around Ireland - to raise funds for Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF), and to mark what would have been the 50th birthday of one team member’s brother who sadly died from meningitis.
To support the team donations can be made at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/just-add-wheels
The challenge team is made up of Cate Read (48) and Adrian Goodhand (47) who are swim/triathlon coaches with the swim school Just Add Water in Dorset; as well as Cate’s partner Rob Pollard (43) and Rob’s brother Simon Pollard (45).
Cate explained the personal connection to MRF: “My brother Euan died of meningitis in December 1994 following a period of illness. He was admitted to hospital with suspected meningitis, but a lumbar puncture procedure failed to pick up signs of bacterial meningitis and he was diagnosed incorrectly as having the less serious viral form of the disease. Tragically Euan died before the mistake was realised and he was found to have bacterial meningitis in the post-mortem. He was 26 years old and he left behind a two year old daughter and his partner who was pregnant with their second daughter. Our family was devastated by the loss of such an ostensibly fit and healthy, and vibrant young man.”
The group are currently undergoing a gruelling training regime to prepare for the main event which will see them collectively cycle 2,150km around Ireland. Setting off on Sunday 26th August, they will be riding continuously over 96 hours, rotating as part of a non-stop relay as they travel past some of the most stunning scenery in Ireland. The team has an excellent support crew led by Maria Timperley, a colleague from Just Add Water, who will be following the riders at all times, ensuring they are well fed and rested.
Cate added, “Euan would have been 50 in July this year and it seems fitting to mark the occasion by taking on a new challenge. It’s going to be incredibly tough but it’s been amazing to be part of this team as we make something good come of something so tragic happening. We hope to raise £5,000 in memory of Euan.”
Rob Dawson, Director of Support at MRF said, “Meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases that can strike without warning, killing one in ten, and leaving a third of survivors with life altering after-effects, some as serious as deafness, brain damage or limb loss.
“We're very grateful to Cate, Adrian, Rob, Simon and Maria and everyone who is supporting this group as they undertake this huge challenge. These funds will help us enormously with our work including our research, awareness and support programmes to ensure that other families don’t have to go through what Cate’s has as a result of meningitis and septicaemia.”