Duchenne UK has invested over £9million in medical research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), which causes all the muscles in the body to gradually weaken, including the heart and lungs.
The charity has also funded 34 clinical trial staff at sites across the UK, as well as supporting families with their diagnoses and care of their children.
The condition mostly affects boys, with some rare girls also diagnosed, and the charity estimates there are 2,500 people living with DMD in the UK, while 20,000 children are born with DMD globally each year.
Riders pay for all their own travel and expenses, so that all funds raised go directly to the charity.
Ian Playford was introduced to Duchenne UK by a local friend and did his first London-to-Paris ‘Duchenne Dash’ in 2019, cycling through the pouring rain for several hours between Dieppe and Paris.
He is hoping for better weather in his second sponsored ride, on June 10-11, setting out from Herne Hill in southeast London, to Newhaven, then crossing the Channel to Dieppe by ferry, and then cycling to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Ian said: “It is a devastating condition but the number of children who are diagnosed with it is relatively small, and so the research and clinical trials to find treatments are carried out through the charity, set up by mothers of affected children 10 years ago.
“Successful treatments are getting closer, but it really is a race against time for the children and their families.”
The 54-year-old fundraiser has the wind at his back, with a contribution of £1,000 from commercial property developer Kingsbridge Estates – of which he is chairman.
In Bidborough, his fellow residents have also contributed £3,500 from a fundraising quiz.
Ian said: “The event is a very emotional day supporting a charity that has a real family feel about it. It’s a privilege to ride alongside mums and dads who are not only coping with the physical and mental challenge but are determined to see it to the end to fund research that could change the lives of their own children and those of the future.”
You can donate via Ian Playford’s fundraising page ‘Duchenne Dash 2022’ on JustGiving here.