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Father to help find cure for son’s fatal condition with ambitious cycle

PUBLISHED: 12:58 19 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:30 19 June 2018

Paul Reynolds' son Oliver, who has a fatal muscle-wasting condition called Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Picture: Courtesy of Paul Reynolds

Paul Reynolds' son Oliver, who has a fatal muscle-wasting condition called Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Picture: Courtesy of Paul Reynolds

Archant

A former Beccles police officer will attempt a 160-mile cycling challenge in a bid to help find a cure for his three-year-old son’s fatal condition.

Mr Reynolds (left) is aiming to cycle from London to Paris in under 24 hours with fellow serving police officers Alan Humphrey (middle) and Tony Timthong (right). Picture: Courtesy of Paul ReynoldsMr Reynolds (left) is aiming to cycle from London to Paris in under 24 hours with fellow serving police officers Alan Humphrey (middle) and Tony Timthong (right). Picture: Courtesy of Paul Reynolds

PC Paul Reynolds is set to try and ride from London to Paris in under 24 hours to raise money for Harrison’s Fund, a charity set up to help research Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

At just three-months-old, Mr Reynolds’ son Oliver was diagnosed with the muscle-wasting condition, which prevents the body from producing enough protein to build muscles.

Every muscle in Oliver’s body will therefore deteriorate, including his heart.

There is currently no cure, meaning most sufferers are usually in a wheelchair by the age of 12 and die in their late teens or early twenties

There is currently no cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and most sufferers are usually in a wheelchair by the age of 12. Picture: Courtesy of Paul ReynoldsThere is currently no cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and most sufferers are usually in a wheelchair by the age of 12. Picture: Courtesy of Paul Reynolds

Mr Reynolds, who worked in Beccles and across Suffolk from 2001 to 2004 before transferring to the Metropolitan Police, will team up with fellow officers Alan Humphrey and Tony Timthong for the gruelling cycle.

“When Oliver was diagnosed in 2015 our world was turned upside down,” said Mr Reynolds, whose one-year-old son Max does not have the condition. “My wife Bhavine and I were told to take Oliver home and enjoy every minute with him. We were left feeling empty, with our dreams and aspirations for our son ripped from us in an instant.

“We found Harrison’s Fund and we want to get as much money as possible into the hands of the world’s best researchers, who are working to find a cure for Duchenne.

“The event is self-organised and self-funded, and I’m fortunate that I have two very good friends, Alan and Tony, who will be joining me.

“Oliver is a very positive boy who loves to ride his balance bike, swim and play with friends, but knowing what he will have to cope with in the near future pushes me to help find a cure.”

Mr Humphrey, who met Mr Reynolds in 2004 before transferring to Suffolk, said the trio have been training hard for the ride which begins at 4pm on Thursday, June 28, from Marble Arch. They will cycle to Newhaven via Brighton, before boarding the 10pm ferry to Dieppe.

In France they will be in the saddle for around 12 hours, setting off at 4am and aiming to reach the finish line at the Arc de Triomphe by 4pm.

Visit the trio’s Just Giving page to support their effort.

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