Teacher in 3,000-mile ride for ill girl

PUBLISHED: 12:24 19 July 2012

Mark Hackeson and goddaughter Cerys

Mark Hackeson and goddaughter Cerys

Archant

A PRIMARY school teacher is preparing to ride more than 3,000 miles and through 69 cities, in aid of his sick eight-year-old goddaughter.

Mark Hackeson, a year six teacher at Yatton Junior School, is riding for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust (CFT), for his cousin’s daughter Cerys, who was diagnosed with the condition when just a few months old.

He said: “It [CFT] is trialling a new drug which if successful would take the life-threatening part of the illness away.

“It would prevent destruction of the lungs and then with medication it would mean sufferers can live a normal life, whereas at the moment life expectancy can be 30-40 years.

“It’s a very little known illness but there’s a huge amount of youngsters who have it.”

Cerys currently has to go to hospital on a regular basis because of cystic fibrosis and has already suffered serious consequences in her short life, including a collapsed lung.

The 46-year-old, who lives in Worle, will start the 12-day adventure on August 1 and said he has never done anything like it before.

He said: “I will start off from Truro and I am basically going up the west coast of the UK, visiting all the cities across Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.

“I’m looking forward to it. I have ridden long distances before, such as to the south of France, but never something like this. It’s going to be difficult and I have a few nerves.”

Help from his school pupils has enabled him to smash his original £1,000 target and is now hopeful of reaching the £4,000 mark.

For more information and sponsorship details, visit www.justgiving.com/mark-hackeson

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