A cycle challenge in aid of arthritis research and children living with arthritis
Hello, my name is Phil Bowers. I am currently undertaking a demanding 2,000 mile cycle ride from Bath to Rome to inspire young people who suffer from all kinds of arthritis. I have lived with with the impact of septic arthritis in my right hip since birth and so this is a tough chalIenge - I can only pedal my bike while standing up and I am rarely free from pain. I have therefore set myself a daily target of around 20-25 miles a day. Fortunately I can sit on the saddle while freewheeling! I began my trip in Bath on my 31st birthday on 24 June 2017 and plan to reach Rome in time for World Arthritis Day on 12 October 2017.
I am riding to raise funds and awareness for Arthritis Research UK and Children's Chronic Arthritis Association (CCAA). Both charities have been very supportive and excited by the ride I'm undertaking. I am being supported by members of my family on route and they are following me with a support vehicle. All of the expenses involved in making the trip are being met by me and my family: 100% of the money I raise will go directly to the two charities.
Donate to the charities via Virgin Money
Background: Every year in the UK an estimated 9,000 youngsters under 16 will develop some form of arthritis. (Source: Arthritis Research UK) Around half will suffer from a rheumatic disorder and others from painful inflammatory arthritis. Coping with arthritis is a challenge for all ages, especially for younger people who contend with not only the daily pain but the issues they will face at school, work and in future relationships.
My story: I developed septic arthritis just after birth which began in my finger. This invasive infection moved to my hip and knee and caused long-term damage to my joints. I have grown up with a limp, restrictions to movement and daily pain. I have undergone surgery to try and improve the function and mobility of my hip but with limited success. However these difficulties have not stopped me from trying to do all the things that I love. I hope a challenge like this will give confidence to other young people and encourage them to pursue their dreams.
From my own experience, people are often surprised to learn that I suffered from septic arthritis from such a young age. That is why I am keen to raise awareness of this condition and other forms of arthritis, to help the large numbers of young people who will need support throughout their lives.
- Day 95: Vitolini to Florence September 25, 2017
- Days 93 & 94: Montecatini rest day & Montecatini to Vitolini September 24, 2017
- Day 91 & 92: Pisa rest day & Pisa to Montecatini Terme September 22, 2017
- Dad’s Guest Blog: Day 90: Viareggio to Pisa September 20, 2017
- Day 89: Lerici to Viareggio September 19, 2017
- Day 88: Levanto to Lerici September 19, 2017
- Day 87: Levanto rest day September 17, 2017
- Days 85 & 86: Levanto rest days September 16, 2017
- Day 84: Lavagna to Levanto September 14, 2017
- Days 82 & 83: Lavagna rest days September 13, 2017
- Day 81: Bedonia to Lavagna September 11, 2017
- Days 79 & 80: Rest day & Ferriere to Bedonia September 10, 2017
- Day 78: Rivergarro to Ferriere September 8, 2017
- Day 77: Pavia to Rivergarro September 7, 2017
- Day 76: Milan to Pavia September 6, 2017
- Dad’s Guest Blog: Day 75: Milan rest day September 5, 2017
- Day 74: Como to Milan September 4, 2017
- Dad’s Guest Blog: Day 73: Menaggio to Como September 3, 2017
- Day 72: Lugano to Menaggio September 2, 2017
- Day 71: Bellinzona to Lugano September 1, 2017