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John's cycling endurance challenge for Children's Hospital

 In December last year, John Walkley set himself a challenge- ride 4,025 virtual kilometres in a week to beat the current cycling record on the online training program Zwift.

At 40kmph, that would mean riding for 14 and a half hours a day, every day, for seven days.

All this to raise an incredible £6,891.16 for Staffordshire Children’s Hospital at Royal Stoke to thank them for the care given to son Edison.

John, who’s from Alsager explains: “ I got into my cycling when lockdown started three years ago. By this time, Edison my son has been in the children’s hospital a quite a while, and I wanted to give something back.”

“So I thought what better way than try and beat a world record- the record for 4,000km in one week on a virtual trainer.”

“Unfortunately, I didn’t quite make it. I achieved about 3,500km in the seven days. I ended up tearing both my tendons and I was hallucinating by the end. But it was an incredible effort that was just a bit too much for me. Along the way so many people joined in online and cycled online with me. They not only rode, but donated and tired their own feats as well, whether it was 50km or 500km.”

 “My son Edison became quite ill around February 2022, he’s been in and out of hospital for just over a year now. And when he comes in, its everything from taking bloods to endoscopy, colonoscopy for investingating the cause of his illness, right through to any procedure and medications he’s needed. Along the way, it’s been not only quite a physical challenge for him being so young, but also a mental one.”

“The care he’s received at Staffordshire Children’s Hospital has been like a family experience. He’s been in that much that he feels very safe here because of the environment and the care he reccives- particularly the Play Specialists who have been with him through some of the challenging moments.”

“The thing that got me started was the idea that I wanted to show Edison that no matter how big the challenge or how long the odds, you need to keep going. We never know how deep we can dig unless we try. For him, he doesn’t have a choice- he has to battle every day. I chose an almost impossible challenge of endurance to show that we can keep going against the odds. I felt it was important to show him he was not alone, that he wasn’t the only one who had to push."

Emma Biddulph, Play Specialist Co-ordinator at Staffordshire Children’s Hospital at Royal Stoke added: “This donation will make such a big difference. When we spoke to John, Edison and the family about what they’d like to do with the money, it was to put it towards patient entertainment such as video games, as being a teenager it was something Edison got a lot from."

Walk, Run, Swim, Cycle

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