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Every morning on the MK Breakfast Show at 8.30am we've been checking in with the cyclists on their epic 550 mile journey from Le Mans via Paris to Olney... and now they're back in Britain, their epic journey complete.
Stay tuned to MKFM for updates on their fundraising and exclusive interviews with the team to find out how they got on.
It's all to raise as much as possible for a very special local girl, Maya, who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and the national childrens charity Caudwell Children who are also supporting her. Find out more about Maya and SMA below.
This was the third B2B charity ride and so far the team have raised a spectacular £42,000 for good causes. This has been achieved by cycling 700 miles from Brighton to Berlin in 2008 and in 2010 the challenge was a gruelling 900 miles from Brighton to Barcelona,
Making a donation couldn't be easier, a simple click and you've done your bit towards helping Maya. We do realise that times are tough, but every penny counts. Feel free to forward the link to anyone you think may like to donate.
Visit the JustGiving page or text: MAYA50 and your chosen amount to 70070 - e.g. MAYA50 £5
The Charity - Maya's Dream
Some thoughts from Maya's parents:
It's difficult to hear from your Doctor that your time with a loved one is limited, even more so when this someone is your one year old child and that they may never see their second birthday, in a heartbeat our lives were changed forever.
When our daughter was born we dreamed that she might climb trees, dance at the ballet, or play tennis at Wimbledon. We thought it was a given that she would breathe, cough, crawl and walk. Now since her diagnosis with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) in July 2009 we dream of those things and pray that the life threatening condition she suffers from will not kill her...."
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is the number one genetic killer of infants and young children, 1 in 40 people unknowingly carries the gene responsible for SMA. It is an inherited neuromuscular condition that affects nerve cells in the spinal cord. Messages from the brain travel down the spinal cord then along motor neurons to the muscles telling them to move. In SMA messages are blocked or distorted. This causes the muscles to waste away (atrophy). The motor neurons affected enable walking, crawling, arm and hand movement, head and neck movement and swallowing, muscles used in breathing can also be affected.
Individuals with SMA are living longer and fuller lives with the help of assistive technology such as ventilators, power assisted wheelchairs and modified access to computers. These mitigate the effects of SMA upon the individuals' daily lives, allowing them to participate in the community like everyone else. With your help we will succeed and every little "does" help so please donate.
Maya is a very happy, little girl. She has friends, goes to preschool and on the surface, apart from the fact that she uses a wheelchair, doesn't look different to any other four year old child. However, she is very fragile. Her muscle tone is so poor, that she cannot take the lid off of a pen herself, which can be very frustrating for her. Maya needs help with most everyday tasks and also needs a lot of equipment to help her enjoy her life to the full.
Having a power assisted wheelchair means she can lead a much more independent life. She can go to mainstream school, she can keep up with the children she plays with who are running around, the chair enables her to get up to kitchen work surface height so she can help mum with cooking and washing up, she was even able to stick a carrot in the snow man she made when we had the snow in February. The wheelchair can also tilt horizontally so she can rest or sleep on it. It gives her the confidence boost she really needs.
A cough assist machine is life saving equipment. Children with SMA cannot cough, because the muscles around the chest area are too weak. When Maya gets a cold she cannot clear her lungs on her own meaning she can get pneumonia. A cough assist machine can only be loaned from hospitals and needs to be shared with other families. Maya was in hospital before Christmas with pneumonia; luckily she had a cough assist machine on loan from Oxford J Radcliffe hospital. When Maya was in hospital with pneumonia, we found out that Maya also needs to have an oxygen machine at home to help her when she can't breathe properly on her own.
Other equipment that can help Maya are special car seats, hoists etc for when she gets bigger and needs to be lifted out of her bed/bath.
As technology grows there may be other equipment that will help Maya. She will also grow out of her current wheelchair and we are hoping that through the donations received from the bike ride we will be able to raise enough money to give her a good start towards paying for this equipment, plus have some left to put towards her next wheelchair when she requires it.
Ultimately this equipment will help Maya to live a much more independent life and help her to live well past the life expectancy the doctors gave her when they diagnosed her with SMA.
If you want to get in touch to discuss how you can help or get involved, please email one of the following people, we will get in touch as soon as possible by phone or email.
We are all volunteers, so please be patient if we don't respond immediately.