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Father of three pedals 300 miles to Paris for MS research

PUBLISHED: 10:33 14 September 2016 | UPDATED: 10:33 14 September 2016

Pete Shoesmith and his brother-in-law Andy Rose, who is cycling to Paris to raise vital funds for MS research

Pete Shoesmith and his brother-in-law Andy Rose, who is cycling to Paris to raise vital funds for MS research

Archant

59-year-old Andy Rose is cycling for his brother-in-law, who has lived with multiple sclerosis for over 13 years

A West Wickham man will be cycling to Paris today to raise funds for a neurological condition that affects more than 100,000 people in the UK.

59-year-old Andy Rose aims to raise £1,500 for the multiple sclerosis (MS) Society Tissue Bank at Imperial College London, who are working towards new treatments for the condition that can attack the brain and spinal cord .

He will tour through the Kent countryside across the Channel to the medieval towns of northern France, before cycling down the Champs-Élysées to the Eiffel Tower. All the money Andy raises will help provide brain and tissue samples to researchers in the UK, and around the world, who are working towards new MS treatments and understanding what causes the condition.

The jewellery manufacturer is also embarking on the 300-mile ride from London in support of his brother-in-law Pete Shoesmith, who has lived with MS for over 13 years.

Mr Shoesmith, 46, started having difficulty using his hands while working as an entertainer in his early thirties. An MRI scan in August 2003 confirmed he had primary progressive MS. which Andy says has been declining ever since:

“Around 6 years ago Pete lost the use of his legs and started using a wheelchair to get around. He’s now also unable to use his arms and needs to be fed with the support of a carer. His wife redesigned their two-bed maisonette, which our family renovated with a wet room, widened doors and level floors, but his condition has progressed so far that he now needs a hoist.

“The whole family has shown their support, but it’s like we can’t keep up with his MS. It can be disheartening for us all. But somehow, through everything, Pete never loses his sense of humour or his sense of humanity. You’d never know it gets to him. He’s a true entertainer at heart – always cracking one-liners and joking around.”

Andy’s wife Zoe and his stepson Jack ran the London Marathon earlier this year for the MS Society, and he says that it’s now his turn to do something for Pete and the MS community:

“I’ve often thought of following in their footsteps, but it was really Jack who got the ball rolling. Running 26 miles for his uncle was such an admirable thing to do, and I was so proud of Zoe to join in and finish her first ever marathon.”

All the money raised will be going to the world-class Tissue Bank at Imperial College London – the largest MS-specific brain donor scheme in Europe. You can sponsor Andy at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Andrew-Rose12.

For advice, and information about MS and support, visit www.mssociety.org.uk or call the MS Society’s free helpline on 0808 800 8000.

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