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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

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Couple in battle with illnesses given boost

A COUPLE battling serious illnesses have received a show of support from friends and family in the North East.

Despite a lack of cycling experience, relatives of Paul Coulston saddled up for a gruelling 70-mile bike ride from Fleetwood, where his wife Clare is from, to the couple’s home at Ulverston.

Mr Coulston, 37, suffers from motor neurone disease, which is incurable and attacks the central nervous system, while Mrs Coulston has been diagnosed with a rare form of oesophageal cancer.

The ride was undertaken by Paul Sainthouse and Anthony King from Sunderland, who are married to cousins of Mr Coulston, and Philip Thompson, from Newcastle, who is another cousin.

The trio were joined in Lancaster by Mr Coulston’s brother Alan and Andrew Holt, a friend from university.

The ride began in Fleetwood at 6am on Saturday, in view of the hotel where Mr and Mrs Coulston were married.

Mr Sainthouse, 30, said: “We found the ride to be easier than expected for the first 35 miles or so, but very tough for the last 35. We were all extremely tired and struggling by the last 10 miles, especially as we finished in the dark.”

Mr Coulston said: “When I met them they were in good spirits. We all went up to the General Burgoyne pub in Great Urswick.

“It was horrible not being able to join them. I had to have an operation on my collar bone after breaking it during my own coast-to-coast ride.’’

The group aims to raise around £1,000 for the Coulstons’ future.

“Their support is amazing, it’s beyond words and I’m just proud to have them in my family,” said Mr Coulston.

Mr Sainthouse added: “What’s happening to them is devastating as they are both such lovely, genuine people who have a real zest for life, and it seems so unfair it should happen to them at such a young age. I know Paul and Clare are keen on taking the kids on a nice family holiday before Paul’s condition deteriorates too much further, and if I thought we were in a position to make this become a reality, it would provide some light in this dark time.”

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