Saddling up to help Oliver’s health battle

Rik Osborn and  the cyclists who will be raising money for Epilepsy Research.
Rik Osborn and the cyclists who will be raising money for Epilepsy Research.
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A caring dad – with a son who suffers more than 100 epileptic seizures a day – is among a team of cyclists planning to tackle a 200-mile charity ride.

Every day, parents Rik Osborn and Danielle Coils, 29, care for their two-year-old boy Oliver, who suffers from migrating partial epilepsy in infancy.

We are all confident of doing it. I will be doing it with friends I have grown up with and we did manage a coast-to-coast cycle ride last year. After we did that one, we thought ‘let’s do another one’ and this seemed feasible, especially with castles to go past.

Rik Osborn

But now, Rik and an army of friends from Peterlee are planning to take on the Coast and Castle charity ride.

They will set off from Edinburgh on Saturday, June 5, and will ride down the east coast.

They will be passing as many castles along the way as they can.

They will raise money for the Epilepsy Research group and are targeting a £3,000 boost for the national cause.

And while the rest of the team have been practising all over the world for the mega task, Rik has been getting in his training at home in Peterlee.

He fits in sessions on his exercise bike, as well as managing to get out for runs, while he watches Oliver.

He said: “We are all confident of doing it. I will be doing it with friends I have grown up with and we did manage a coast-to-coast cycle ride last year. After we did that one, we thought ‘let’s do another one’ and this seemed feasible, especially with castles to go past.”

The team – of cyclists Rik, Kyle Osborn, Christopher Baker, Gary Colledge, Colin Docherty, Christopher Hall, Shane O’Brien, Greg O’Brien, Dale Laverick and Paul Fletcher as well as back-up duo Stephen Owen and John Chisholm – will start from Edinburgh Castle.

They will tackle 75 miles of cycling on each of the first two days and then ride to Peterlee Catholic Club on the last leg.

They will be using a tent to sleep in overnight and have a back-up van for supplies and emergencies.

Oliver’s strain of the illness affects fewer than 20 children in the country. It can send him into an epileptic state for up to 10 minutes.

It is a severe form of epilepsy and the fundraising is being done to help research into the condition.

To find out more about Epilepsy Research, visit its website at http://www.epilepsyresearch.org.uk/

And to support the cyclists on their journey, visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/teamollie1