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Seven Chester mates take on cycling challenge for little Eddie

The group is raising money to support two-year-old Eddie who has developmental needs

Fundraisers Sean Sweeney, Stuart Roberts and Dan Hyde on a training ride(Image: UGC)

A group of friends plan to cycle 150 miles and climb Wales’ highest mountain in just one day to support a toddler with developmental needs.

The seven Chester men, all about 40 years old, will bike together from Chester to Snowdon, climb the 1,085m peak, and then cycle home again, on Saturday (September 23).

The mammoth effort is a fundraiser for two-year-old Cestrian Edward Braun, who suffered a brain injury before he was born leading to various debilitating neurological conditions.

The riders Nick Horder, Chris Fox, Stuart Roberts, Dan Hyde, Jody Payne, and Chris Capes are all lifelong friends of Eddie’s dad Alex Braun, who’s also riding.

Organiser Stuart Roberts, assistant headteacher at St Martin’s Academy in Hoole said: “On reflection, we’ve probably bitten off more than we can chew.

“Some of us are fitter than others, and we all love a beer.

“But we wanted to do something to raise money to help Eddie and it had to be a proper challenge.”

The seven riders will be aided on their likely 16-hour challenge by a three-man support crew of friends – Dom Leeson, Sean Sweeney and Neil Smith.

They will also act as Sherpas on the climb.

“Hopefully the wind will be at our backs, in both directions,” Stuart said. “That would be amazing.”

Fundraisers Sean Sweeney, Stuart Roberts and Dan Hyde on a training ride(Image: UGC)

They have already hit £3,000 of their £5,000 fundraising target.

Any money they raise will be held by Salford-based charity Tree of Hope for Eddie’s treatment.

Eddie has a rare genetic condition which caused a bleed on the brain while he was in the womb.

The damage was discovered at 35 weeks’ gestation.

It has caused various neurological conditions, including Infantile Spasms (IS), cortical vision impairment (Eddie is registered as severely sight impaired) right-side hemiplegia and global developmental delay.

IS is a rare and severe epilepsy syndrome, which is catastrophic neurologically and has a devastating impact on development.

His development milestones, such as learning to sit unaided, will be a lot slower coming and require significant continuous input.

He has recently learned to roll over (and is very proud of himself too) and he is able to use his hand to feed himself, which he loves to do.

He is also non-verbal and his parents, Alex and mum Ilmarie, are undertaking a training programme to develop a method of communication as an alternative or support for any verbal skills he may develop.

The constant physical, practical and emotional input makes their day to day life exhausting.

However, they know to give Eddie the best chances for his future, this is the path they need to follow and as such they never take for granted the support they receive.

Since diagnosis, medical professionals have talked about the wonders of neuroplasticity, especially in babies.

But the lack of NHS funding means Eddie does not get enough regular professional support with neurological and physical development.

Dad Alex Braun said: “I find it hard to express my gratitude for what people are doing for us and the family.

“It means so much to have amazing and continuous support from all our friends.”

The money will be used to pay for regular physiotherapy, occupational therapy, equine-assisted therapy and training for his parents to to maximise his neurological potential.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/eddiesnowdonchallenge.

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