Croydon teacher overcomes heart attack to take on charity bike challenge


By - Monday 19th May, 2014

Steve O’Sullivan, a year 6 teacher at Parish Church Junior School in Croydon, will cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End this summer to raise money for research into breast cancer and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. What’s unusual is that he’ll be wearing a heart monitor, aiming to reach his goal without raising his heartbeat above 112 beats per minute.


1000 miles, 15 days, 1 heart, 112 beats per minute. Image used with the permission of Steve O’Sullivan.

Release begins: STEVE TAKES HEART ON A BIKE RIDE…….

FROM JOHN O’GROATS TO LAND’S END

STEVE SADDLES UP FOR 1000 MILE BIKE RIDE WITH HEART MONITOR TO BEAT BREAST CANCER AND DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY

An end to end bike ride is the last thing most of us would think of doing after suffering a major heart attack, but Croydon teacher Steve O’Sullivan is saddling up for a near 1000 mile bike ride on his own, for charity, despite having to keep his heart rate below 112 beats per minute.

On Saturday 2nd August 2014, three years to the day after his heart attack, Steve, 57, will ride from John O’Groats in the Scottish Highlands, all the way down to Land’s End – the JOGLE – in 15 days without raising his heart beat above its prescribed limit to raise money for two very special charities.

Breast cancer awareness charity for 18-30’s CoppaFeel! and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) charity, Joining Jack, will benefit from the fundraising already totaling £1128. Inspired by Kris Hallenga, (founder of CoppaFeel!), and 6 year-old Jack Johnson (Joining Jack) who have battled against illness, Steve is set to take on the challenge that hundreds attempt each year.

Steve said: “Kris has shown amazing courage in her life to turn around the devastating news that she had stage 4 cancer to think of others. I’m doing the JOGLE to show Kris how much she has inspired me”.

“I have been training hard but it is nothing compared to what Jack Johnson and his parents are going through. Jack was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in October 2011. There is no cure.

Please support my cycle ride – every penny raised helps raise awareness of Breast Cancer and funds vital research into a cure for DMD.”

On 2nd August 2011, Steve had to undergo an emergency angioplasty, during which a stent was fitted into one of his main coronary arteries. It was discovered that nearly 90% of his coronary arteries were blocked, starving his heart of vital oxygen. Two further stents were fitted six weeks later. Now, he has to keep his heart rate below 112 beats per minute when exercising – a challenging task for anyone.

Alex Johnson, Mother of Jack said: “Andy and I would like to thank Steve from the bottom of our hearts for all of his hard work and his continued support. At Joining Jack we are getting closer and closer to our aim of finding a treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – and it is only through the help of people like Steve that this has been possible.”

Steve’s journey starts on 2nd August when he will leave John O’Groats and cycle through the highlands of Scotland on his way to Edinburgh, the city of his birth. He will make his way to Moffat in the Scottish borders before heading to Wigan to meet up with young Jack. After 15 gruelling days, he will reach Land’s End.

Kris Hallenga, CEO and Co-Founder of CoppaFeel! said: ‘I am delighted to hear Steve is up for doing a JOGLE for CoppaFeel! Goodness knows how anyone could be excited about riding such a long way but I am very impressed that he is!’.

You can support Steve as he cycles to beat breast cancer and DMD by visiting his fundraising page. Release ends

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