A Croxley father who suffers from a rare neurological condition is raising funds to buy a handbike so he can ride with his son.
James Foster, suffers from Friedreichs Ataxia, an inherited degenerative neurological condition which has caused stiffness and weakness in his legs. For over 20 years James has been walking with the aid of crutches and has been using a wheelchair for the past 12 years.
The handbike, which costs £3,700, will allow James to maintain the strength and dexterity in his arms and the bike will be a good form of exercise to keep his heart in a reasonable condition and fight the progression of the Ataxia.
Signs of symptoms typically begin between the ages of five and 15, but in James’ case it was not diagnosed until his 30’s. There is no cure for James’ condition so maintaining fitness is key to ease stiffness and muscle spasms.
James is a father of two young children, aged two and four. Oldest child, Barc, has already learnt to ride a bike and is desperate to ride with his dad.
on his Just Giving page James said that his son is ‘desperate’ for him to go for a bike ride with him, but he is unable to keep up with him in a wheelchair so his wife Deborah currently has to takes him out.
James and his wife have been to see a Sport-On XCR Handcycle in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire by Draft Wheelchairs, which is the only place in the UK that sells the bike and are looking for donations.
Deborah said: “We’ve been trying to get a special bike for James for ages. He has tried them before and this is the only bike where he can get on and off.
“For a new bike it costs £3,700 and it’s about £500 less for the showroom model but that’s with no warranty. If something happened when he’s out riding then he’s stuffed.”
Friends, family and complete strangers have been generously donating on James’ Just Giving page to help James ride with his son. “A friend of mine suggested crowd funding to me, and I thought that was essentially like begging. Some people want to give back and make a difference, some people we don’t even know who they are.”
His condition hasn’t stopped James from taking part in sporting activities; in 2008 he beat six other teams to reach the summit of Ben Nevis, becoming the first person in a wheelchair to do so.
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/handbike