Published: 13:00, 30 July 2017
The daughter of a former Sittingbourne paper mill worker who had Parkinson’s will cycle 420km through Burma to raise money for charity.
Wendy Ralston’s father Ron Vincent died aged 82 at London Road’s Elvy Court Care Home in August last year.
Mr Vincent worked at the mill for nearly 40 years and had two children, Wendy and Graham, with his wife Vera.
Wendy, 56, who now lives on the Wirral, Merseyside, is taking on the monster challenge over six days in November in aid of Parkinson’s UK. She wants to raise £1,600.
She said: “Dad was a keen cyclist and used to cycle every day to work and back and would even cycle home and back most lunchtimes.
“It was a lovely touch and really fitting that his colleagues gave him a nice new bike as his retirement present.”
Her father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2003, having shown symptoms for some time before. She said: “Once he was diagnosed and started to really struggle he didn’t complain and wasn’t bitter.
“He just accepted it and got on with life as best he could. He would often see the funny side of his mishaps and still talked about how he had enjoyed the things he could still do. He was a very positive man. The latter years, however, were a particular challenge as he required increasing amounts of care and he also developed dementia.
“Mum cared for him for many years and did as much for him as anyone could, remaining devoted to the end.”
Wendy is a keen cyclist but said Burma will be a significant challenge. She said: “The road conditions will vary from reasonable to very poor, with most of the cycling taking place on secondary roads which are generally narrow with lots of potholes.
“There will be a lot of uphill climbing, much more than I am used to, and with temperatures of 25 to 33C and humidity of 75 to 80%, this will be tough.
“I re-joined the local gym in November, a week after signing up for the challenge, and have started getting out regularly on my bike to build up my fitness.
To find out more and to donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/wendy-ralston.
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