ARMY dad Lee Amey will cycle around every Premier League football ground in the country for the charity which helped his family in their hour of need.
Sgt Amey, from Horndean, will undertake the 1,100-mile challenge to say thank you to the Ronald McDonald House charity which came to his family’s aid when his son Finley was undergoing lifesaving treatment far away from home at Oxford Children’s Hospital.
It is 70 miles from Horndean and the charity put them up in a ‘home away from home’ for the duration of his treatment in 2009, as a vulnerable newborn.
Eight serving soldiers are taking part in the challenge and each only started cycling six months ago when training began.
They will have to ride 200 miles a day, beginning at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium, and finishing at the home of English football –Wembley Stadium.
Sgt Amey, 33, said: ‘On a personal level I am really glad to be fundraising again for Ronald McDonald House Oxford.
‘When my son Finley was born in 2009 he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder known as Apert Syndrome.
‘This required him to be hospitalised for many weeks while he underwent numerous life-saving operations at Oxford Children’s Hospital.
‘Throughout this difficult period, we received invaluable and unconditional support from Ronald McDonald House Charities.
‘By offering us a supportive home away from home my wife Diane and our daughter Lucy could live together just a stone’s throw away from the hospital ward where Finley was being looked after.
‘It really was a life-saver for us all and we know that through fundraising events such as this cycle ride, many other families will continue to benefit from this very worthwhile charity.’
Apert Syndrome is a genetic disease in which the seams between the skull bones close earlier than normal.
This affects the shape of the head and face. Finley is now doing well.
The money raised will also be donated to The Soldiers’ Charity, The Royal Engineers Association and The Royal British Legion.
To sponsor them go to virginmoneygiving.com/team/premierlongride.