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Dad’s cross-country ride to thank hospital for daughter’s care

Frank White plans 1,000 mile journey in aid of Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Daughter Nina with Frank White

A father from Hatchmere will take on a 1,000 mile bike ride to raise money for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where his beloved daughter received ‘magnificent’ treatment for a very rare immune system disorder.

Frank White, 52, will cover 80 to 100 miles a day on his 11-day sojourn from Land’s End to John O’Groats in September.

Frank, who works for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as a drinking water specialist, said his family have donated money to the hospital but he ‘wants to do more’ so other children can benefit from ‘the wonderful work done by the rheumatology team’ at Alder Hey.

Frank’s daughter Nina was 16 and in the midst of preparing for her GCSEs when she was diagnosed with overlap connective tissue disorder with athritis, lupus and dermatomyositis.

Frank White at the top of Lake Vyrnwys catchment in Wales in preparation for his 1,000 mile ride from Lands End to John O'Groats in September

“It was a very challenging time, she was really poorly and it came upon her very quickly,” Frank said.

“We were so lucky that we had an internationally renowned hospital nearby. The culture there was very understanding of the sort of crisis we were going through.

“The nursing staff, the doctors and the catering staff were all brilliant.

“If it wasn’t caught so quickly, she would have suffered organ damage.

“The speed with which we got test results back and the technology available to them was magnificent.”

But Frank says that the ‘real inspiration’ during that period was Nina, who he said didn’t complain and showed real determination.

Remarkably, Nina went on to achieve 10 A* grades in her GCSEs, despite staying in hospital for two months.

Now 19, she is studying biology at Cardiff University and the condition is in remission.

“She is leading a completely normal life now and is happy and healthy,” Frank said.

Frank, who has lost two stone since he began training with Weaver Valley Cycling Club in January, is paying for the costs of the ride out of his own pocket so that all the money raised goes to the hospital.

He has so far raised £950 of his £3,000 target.

To sponsor Frank, visit


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