A Northwich dad will swap horse power for pedal power when he cycles from Italy to Liverpool in aid of the hospital that gave his son lifesaving treatment.
Dave Hind, an animal keeper at Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre near Tarporley, donated a kidney to his son Neil, 25, at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in 2013 - three years after he was diagnosed with Alport Syndrome, a rare condition affecting the kidneys.
After extensive tests on his family, Neil’s brother Daniel was established as the best match but Dave, from Northwich, would not let him undergo the operation and insisted his organ was used instead.
Now Neil and Dave plan to thank the Royal by raising as much as they can during the mammoth bike ride to Liverpool from Padua in Italy, where Neil now teaches at the English International School.
The pair will be joined by Neil’s friend Bobby on the 1,300km trip, which includes cycling over the Alps.
Dave’s wife Wendy said: “As a family, we are so proud of both of them and I’d like to thank Dave for giving our son a new life and a new future. "And thanks to all the staff at The Royal Liverpool University Hospital for their excellent care throughout the whole process. Without organ donation our son’s future was bleak.”
Loren Slade, events fundraiser for the Royal Liverpool University Hospital’s R Charity, added: “This is such an incredible challenge and a great way of raising funds for R Charity.
"The money Neil and his team raise will help provide the very best facilities and equipment for future transplant patients that we treat at the hospital.
"Cycling over 1,300km is no easy challenge so we wish Neil, Dave and Bobby the very best of luck and look forward to welcoming them to the Royal in July.”
Dave and Neill will set off on their challenge on June 22 and the trek is expected to last 15 days, with Neil having to take medication every day.
Janet King, owner of Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre, said the whole team were 'really proud' of both men.
"We’re really proud of Dave and Neil and wish them well on their trip. Dave has been with us for over 10 years and is a very popular figure with our visitors and is an invaluable member of staff at the centre.
"Amazingly, Dave only had nine weeks off after the operation and it’s only 14 months ago he had the operation so for him to go on a trip like this so soon is a fantastic effort.
“We are looking forward to seeing how much Dave, Neil and Bobby raise for the hospital, and we’ll have a collection box in the centre where customers can contribute too.”
If you would like to donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Neil-Bobby