Father takes on Liverpool to Leeds challenge

12th October 2016

Kevin’s young son Leighton was struck down by bacterial meningitis and spent over a month in hospital

Kevin Ryan QVC

In July 2013 Kevin Ryan's young son Leighton was struck down by bacterial meningitis and spent over a month in hospital battling the disease, before making a full recovery.

To mark the anniversary of Leighton contracting and fighting meningitis, Kevin wanted to complete a challenge and support a charity which raises awareness of the disease.

Kevin said: “We saw the other stories of people affected by meningitis, and all the after-care and support work Meningitis Now does, and knew we wanted to help.”

With this in mind, Kevin led a Liverpool to Leeds Canal cycling challenge, covering 197 miles from Liverpool and back within just 36 hours.  The team included friends, Anthony Burke, Gary Roberts, Brett Roberts, Kyle Lane, David Jones, Paul Ryan and Kevin Howard.

Although there were some injuries and technical set-backs on the way, they persevered and were joined for the last stretch of the journey by their children.

Kevin said: “Arriving back at Liverpool to the applause of family and friends and completing the final mile with the kids, made all our aches and pains worth it.”

To date, they have raised almost £2,000 for to fund life-saving research, awareness raising and support services for people affected by meningitis.

For Kevin, the challenge was an opportunity to mark three years since Leighton’s recovery.

Kevin said: “Family life means everything to me. After going through the devastation of what meningitis can do and how quickly it can do it, we try to have as much family time as possible together, as you never know what is around the corner.

 “By doing our event and raising awareness for Meningitis Now, we are hoping to make for people more aware about meningitis. Meningitis is a terrible disease and no family should have to go through it.”

The group would like to thank Quinns bike centre in Liverpool who kindly provided a free safety check and to the staff at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Leeds.

For information about ways to fundraise and support the work we do, click here.

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