Weston cyclists to travel to the Mendips dressed as Santa to raise money for paralysed friend

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 December 2018

Cyclists biking through the Mendips dressed as Santa to raise money for their friend who was paralysed in a cycling accident.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Cyclists biking through the Mendips dressed as Santa to raise money for their friend who was paralysed in a cycling accident. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

Dozens of cyclists will travel from Weston to the Mendips dressed as Santa to raise money for a friend who was paralysed in a freak mountain biking accident.

Stuart Beauchemin and Adam Jones organised the bike ride in aid of Ryan Tucker, a member of their cycling group, who fractured his neck and suffered a spinal cord injury while cycling in Wales last year. The money will help to pay for ‘life changing’ physiotherapy to restore some of Ryan’s movement.

The Santas will set off from Weston’s Bicycle Chain on December 16 before cycling 20 miles to Burrington - the highest point in the Mendips.

Between 20 and 30 Santas are expected to take part on the day.

Stuart, who was present when Ryan’s accident took place, says he felt ‘helpless’ watching his friend’s injury.

He said: “It’s horrible seeing your friend in an accident like that. There’s so little you can do.

“We all wish we could do more, and obviously we can’t support him forever, but we can raise some money to tide him over and help him get back on his feet.”

Ryan was initally diagnosed as an incomplete tetraplegic, which means he was paralysed from the chest down.

He has since regained some of his movement through a groundbreaking treatment offered at a Bristol rehab centre.

However, the cost of the treatment, travel and the physiotherapy equipment Ryan requires, have left him and his fiancée Suze struggling financially.

Ryan’s sister-in-law Claire Painter was moved by Ryan’s progress and started the original fundraising page that inspired Stuart and Adam to get involved.

She said: “He’s normally a very active person.

“He was always moving about and helping people with things so it’s been very hard.

“I’ve seen all the effort Ryan has put in and it’s amazing. He’s defying all of the odds.”

Claire says Ryan was ‘overwhelmed’ by the support he received from friends and family.

She said: “He sees how much other people care and he finds that really motivating.

“He thinks, if other people can work this hard, then so can I. It really spurs him on.”

To sponsor Stuart and Adam’s journey, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/claire-planter

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