By Tristan Harris Thursday 12 September 2013 Updated: 13/09 13:13
FOUR cyclists from Barnt Green, Blackwell and Alvechurch set off today (Thursday) on a 200-mile ride from London to Paris to raise funds for the Cardiomyopathy Association.
Mat Porton, Neil Edwards, Stuart Campbell and Adrian Bytom, who have been joined by their friend Hugh Bridge for the trip, are hoping to get to the French capital by Sunday (September 15).
The Arch to Arc - Marble Arch to the Arc de Triomphe - cycle will see the five ride from London to Newhaven, get the ferry to Dieppe and then cycle from there to Paris. They will be staying in bed and breakfast accommodation in between their legs of the ride.
Because it is self-organised, all the funds raised will go to the charity, which is a support group for those affected by heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy).
The cause was chosen because Mat's brother Simon died from Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in 1994 and, around 12 years ago, he also found out he was affected by the condition, to a lesser extent.
He said: "This means that my children also have a chance of inheriting the condition and developing it to some extent during their lives.
"Through all of these events the Cardiomyopathy Association has provided valued support to my family to help us deal with all sorts of issues that we needed assistance with.
"It also provided very important educational information and support to the public to help improve awareness of these conditions which often first surface with growing adolescent children, sometimes only when the child suffers a cardiac arrest."
He added identification of the symptoms and diagnosis was critical so sufferers could be treated and protected.
The group has already raised more than £1,150 in sponsorship and anyone else wanting to boost the coffers can visit www.justgiving.com/Mat-Porton.
For more on the charity, visit www.cardiomyopathy.org
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