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'I want to help other families': Mother-daughter duo cycle to Paris as thanks for son's treatment

PUBLISHED: 12:32 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 18:09 01 April 2019

Miss Clarke and her mother, Gillian Page will ride from London to Paris to raise money for the doctors and nurses who saved Riley. Picture: Contributed by Sophie Clarke

Miss Clarke and her mother, Gillian Page will ride from London to Paris to raise money for the doctors and nurses who saved Riley. Picture: Contributed by Sophie Clarke

Archant

A mother will cycle from London to Paris to raise funds for the nurses and doctors who saved her son from a rare blood disorder.

For the first six months of his life, Riley Jay from Beccles was hospitalised for a rare blood disease. Picture: Contributed by Sophie ClarkeFor the first six months of his life, Riley Jay from Beccles was hospitalised for a rare blood disease. Picture: Contributed by Sophie Clarke

For the first six months of his life, Riley Jay was hospitalised with a rare blood disease called hyperinsulinism.

Riley’s mother Sophie Clarke, from Beccles, said: “I had the perfect pregnancy, but while he was in the womb he had a stroke.

“They hooked me up to the ECG and they said ‘if we don’t get him out now, he isn’t coming out’.

“After the procedure, I kissed him, and then they took him away,” the 27-year-old said.

Sophie Clarke, 27, had the Sophie Clarke, 27, had the "perfect pregancy" before her son had a stroke in the womb. Picture: Contributed by Sophie Clarke

He was then diagnosed with the hereditary blood disease, which is so rare there is a one in 250,000 chance of having the illness.

“In laymen’s terms, the opposite of diabetes so Riley was producing too much insulin and therefore when he was born he just didn’t have a blood sugar level,” Miss Clarke explained.

After he was transferred from James Paget University Hospital to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, he had life saving surgery and is now cured from the disease.

“I am so thankful for the staff, nurses, doctors and surgeons.

Now aged two, Riley has cerebral palsy. Picture: Contributed by Sophie ClarkeNow aged two, Riley has cerebral palsy. Picture: Contributed by Sophie Clarke

“Every single one of them made a difference and not only did they give us somewhere to stay whilst we were going through the worst time of ours lives, they gave us a home and a family,” she said.

On July 24, Miss Clarke and her mother, Gillian Page, from Costessey, will cycle 300 miles in three days to Paris to give back to the people who saved her son’s life.

“We are doing an 18-week regimen where you progressively bike longer miles and up the speed as we are doing that.

“Mum was always there for me while Riley was in hospital and it is an amazing experience to go through together,” she said.

The pair will cycle out to the coast through Guildford, along country roads and on to Portsmouth. They will then catch a boat across the channel to Ouistreham and weave through Lisieux and Évreux towards Paris. They will set off from London on July 24.

“I am just wanting to give back to the hospital and help other families,” she said.

If you want to donate visit their GoFundMe page.

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