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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Brave Ulverston dad Paul leads the way

FRIENDS and family of the man whose heart-breaking story has touched people all over the country set off on a charity bike ride on Saturday.

People gathered to see off father-of-two Paul Coulston, who has motor neurone disease, lead a group of cyclists on an electric bicycle as they departed from the Round House, in Biggar Bank.

The cyclists are hoping to raise more than £1,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association over the course of their three-day journey.

Before they set off Mr Coulston, 37, said the cyclists were all looking forward to the challenge and pleased to be able to do something to support the cause.

He said: “I think we are all a little bit nervous, but also excited.

“It is amazing how everyone is jumping on board and doing their bit.”

The Evening Mail first told the Coulston family’s story in September, as both parents battle possibly life-threatening illnesses.

Mr Coulston’s wife, Clare, has an aggressive form of cancer which doctors say she has only a 30 per cent chance of surviving.

Meanwhile, he has been told he has just three to five years to live after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, a progressive condition which attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord and stops the muscles working.

The group has already raised over £700 in online donations but hopes to get even more by the time they finish.

Long-time friend Andy Holt joined the group on the first day of their journey after hearing about it only recently.

The 35-year-old, from Lancaster, said: “There is nothing more sad, really, than someone so fit, with a family so young and happy, being taken apart.

“Hopefully we can raise some money and be able to make a difference.”

The group travelled from Walney to Kendal on Saturday and are due to arrive at their final destination, in Wearmouth, Sunderland, today.

The condition means Mr Coulston lacks the muscle strength to ride an ordinary bike, so Bowness-based company Electric Mountain lent him an electric bike for the journey.

He said: “I would like to thank everyone for their support. And I would not have been able to do this without the bike.”

Ann Jones, from Barrow, came to see off the group, which includes her son Ben.

She praised their bravery, saying what they are doing is “absolutely brilliant”.

To donate, go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Paul Coulston.

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