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Birmingham Children's Hospital to benefit from dad's Land's End to John O'Groats cycle ride

A SOLIHULL dad is gearing

To the ends of Britain - Omar Mahmood, Richard Batchelor, Simon Lewis, John Kelly, Sandez Talwar and Tony Watton are the cycling team

A SOLIHULL dad is gearing up for a 950-mile cycle ride to raise money for the hospital that saved his young son’s life after a fatal car crash.

Simon Lewis, aged 41, will make the marathon journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats with three cycling pals, who are also in their forties.

His nine-year-old son Sean was a passenger in a Ferrari driven by a family friend, James Marcuson, 27, which crashed into a tree in Kenilworth Road, Balsall Common, in January 2008.

Mr Marcuson was killed but Sean was dragged alive from the blazing car and rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital with serious head and chest injuries.

He spent three days in intensive care but went on to make a full recovery - thanks, his father says, to the commitment and dedication of the hospital staff.

“There’s no doubt they saved Sean’s life and I will be eternally grateful to them,” said Simon. “I wanted to show my gratitude, to put something back.

“I hit on the idea of a sponsored cycle challenge and three friends, Sanj Talwar, Richard Batchelor and Tony Watton, kindly offered to keep my company on the long journey.”

Fitness should not be a problem for father-of-three Simon, who cycles each work day from his home at Illshaw Heath to the Birmingham bakery he runs - with the return journey, a round trip of 30 miles.

He and the other intrepid riders will set out from Land’s End on May 15 and aim to reach the very north of Scotland in 10 days, staying overnight at B&Bs on the way.

Their fund raising target is £30,000 and so far they have been promised more than £12,000.

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Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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