This weekend, Michael will be heading down to the Alps for his Three Summits Cycle Challenge.
Michael decided to attempt this cycling challenge for his little sister, Ciara, who has Rett Syndrome. Ciara who is now 8, was diagnosed when she was just 2 years old. Michael said: “The day my parents told me, I didn’t understand at that time what it really meant, but I knew for a while that something was wrong with Ciara because she couldn’t stand up and couldn’t play with toys like other children do.”
Rett syndrome means that Ciara can’t do most things that we can do. Her disability means that she can’t walk, talk, eat and much more. She has been in hospital many times and still has lots of seizures, which has been scary to see.
Michael shares: “Now when I look back, I feel incredibly sad because of all the things that Ciara has not been able to do and still can’t. When I am running around playing with my little sister Sofia, I can only wish that one day I will be able to do the same with Ciara. This is why I am attempting this challenge, as I want Ciara to be cured.”
Over 3 days, Michael will climb three of the biggest and most famous mountains that are often used in the Tour de France. The first mountain will be the Col du Galibier on Monday August 20th. The summit of this mountain is 2645 metres above sea level. The next day, Michael will try to climb Alpe D’Huez, which is 1,850 metres above sea level. This is the one that Michaels says he most likes watching the professionals race up. The following day will see Michael and his dad take on the final mountain, Mont Ventoux. The summit of this mountain is 1912 metres above sea level and has three different routes up to its summit. The ride up each of the three routes is expected to take between 1-2 days.
Michael said: “I have chosen the 3 summits because I enjoy cycling and love watching the Tour de France with my Dad. He has done some incredible cycling challenges for Ciara and Reverse Rett and I really want to do a cycle challenge with him. He has gone over two of the mountains that I will be attempting, but Mont Ventoux will be a first for both of us.
“I know that I am very young to be attempting this, but I really want to do a big cycle challenge myself to help find a cure for Ciara and to support Claire House Children’s Hospice who have been so supportive to Ciara and our family. As well as providing respite care for Ciara, they have also provided sibling support to myself and my youngest sister, Sofia. I really enjoyed the day trip to the Chillfactore and the weekend trip down to London, where we camped out overnight in the Natural History Museum. I hope that with me being so young, this will help me raise as much money as possible for my sister.”
You can support Michael’s fantastic challenge by visiting: Michael’s Three Summits Cycle Challenge
Get Involved with Claire House
You don’t need to take on a cycle challenge to show your support for Claire House. You can get involved with your local children’s hospice in a number of ways, all to suit you!