A mother will cycle 250 miles to help people with a rare disease that left her son with no immune system.
Jo Herbert, 42, and her godfather, Jim Davey, 71, are planning an epic ride in France in May after her son, Toby, 11, was diagnosed with primary immunodeficiency (PID) four years ago.
Jo is raising money for PID UK and Great Ormond Street on Saturday at the Orchards Shopping Centre in Haywards Heath, where she and three others will be cycling on static bikes attached to turbo trainers. They will be selling cakes, running a tombola and giving out balloons as well.
Jo said: “We have over 40 prizes for the tombola now, 40 large cakes plus cup cakes for sale plus 100 prizes in the lucky dip for the kids. We will be riding bikes all day so hopefully people will drop pennies into our buckets.”
Jo, a recruitment agency director from Crawley Down, was inspired to help the charity PID UK after she and Toby met other families affected by the condition in London last October.
Jo said: “I feel we are responsible to keep this charity up and running. It’s a very lonely place for people affected by PID, it’s extremely rare. Toby is one of some 5,000 people in the UK who have been diagnosed with the disease. PID UK is a tiny charity. It wasn’t available to us when Toby was diagnosed. Keeping it running is very important to us.”
Toby’s condition means that, among other things, should he develop a cold, he will be unable to fight it off and could be ill for weeks.
Jo said: “Toby’s really proud of the fact we are doing this. He’s quite shy about people knowing that he has PID but I really do think he wants to make a difference.”
Jo and Jim will be cheered on by Susan Walsh, the director of PID UK, as well as her family during the ride, including her father who used to cycle in France with Jim before he got multiple sclerosis.
Aditionally, Jim’s great uncle, Charlie Davey, cycled for Great Britain at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games and finished third in the 1921 and 1922 World’s Road Championships.
Jo said: “The bike ride is something that’s close to my heart and my family.”
Jo praised Nick Brand of Brand Cycles in East Grinstead, who donates part of his profits to PID UK.