A Preston man is taking on one of the UK’s most iconic cycling events to raise money for the charity’s life saving research in memory of his dad.
Michael Kearney, 43, will be taking on the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Manchester to Blackpool Night Ride from midnight on Saturday October 6,
His dad, who was known as Mick, died from heart problems at the age of 43. Now at that age, Michael wants to do something special to honour his dad.
Mick was an inspirational army man who moved up in the ranks from Junior Solider to Captain during his 27 years service in the British Army. Near the end of his service, Mick had a heart attack and decided to retire from the army in his 40s. Whilst looking for a change of career, he suffered a second heart attack and before he was due to have a triple heart bypass operation he tragically passed away at just 43 years old.
Michael was only 20 years old at the time and struggled for many years to come to terms with the loss of his father.
He said: “I was suddenly the man of the house and was expected to arrange my father’s funeral. I struggled through my 20s but found my supportive partner Lynn and things have really turned around for me.
“It’s such a shame not to have had my dad in my life and I know that many people who lose parents at a young age feel the same. I’m happy to do my bit by fundraising to try and help eradicate heart disease.
“I always wanted to do something in my 43rd year for the British Heart Foundation and I’m excited for the challenge of the Night Ride. I’m hoping to raise £430, which reflects the age my father was when he passed away.”
Michael and around 3,000 riders will set off from the Old Trafford Cricket Club in Manchester and take on the 52 mile challenge, heading for Blackpool sea front and the famous illuminations.
The BHF relies on the enormous generosity of its supporters to pay for its ground-breaking research into heart and circulatory diseases, including stroke, vascular dementia and conditions that increase their risk, such as diabetes. In the Preston area alone there are around 13,100 people living with heart and circulatory diseases.
Last year, the Manchester to Blackpool Night Ride raised £110,000 which will go towards helping to better understand how to prevent, diagnose and treat heart and circulatory diseases and beat heartbreak forever.
If you’re interested in taking part in this year’s event, visit http://www.bhf.org.uk/M2B for more information or to sign up.
To support Michael’s fundraising, visit http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mjkbhf and donate to the British Heart Foundation.