"It's the challenge of a lifetime" | Action Medical Research

"It's the challenge of a lifetime"

3 June 2005
Intrepid cyclist Grant Crawley from Ormskirk is taking on the immense challenge of cycling from London to Paris next month, despite suffering from a rare and debilitating condition which affects his mobility. Grant Crawley, 35, loves a sporting challenge like many young men, but unlike most others, he suffers from a rare condition called Multifocal Motor Neuropathy with Conduction Block. This condition causes his immune system to attack the myelin sheath of the motor nerves, leading to limited movement. Grant says: “Basically my brain sends a signal, but it never gets to my fingers because the wiring has been damaged.” Unfortunately for Grant, there is no cure for his condition, but he has chosen to take on the mammoth task of a ride from London to Paris in support of the charity Action Medical Research, which is involved in research into related neurological conditions such as Guillain-Barré Syndrome and Motor Neurone Disease. He hopes that supporting the charity may one day lead to a cure, and mean that he no longer needs regular intravenous immunoglobulin chemotherapy treatments he currently undertakes every 8 weeks. Grant has nothing but praise for the staff at The Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, where he receives his treatment, saying it is ”nothing short of excellent”, and has specifically arranged his chemotherapy to fit with the bike ride so that he will be giving his peak performance during the trip. When asked why he was taking on such an arduous task for Action Medical Research, Grant explained: ”I am fortunate that I can still ride a bicycle because the condition has not yet damaged my leg muscles, so it’s really a case of now or possibly never. I enjoy cycling, although it is quite painful in my left hand due to the amount of muscle wasting.” Another challenge for Grant is the training regime leading up to the bike ride – many people who take part have to fit training around their work or their family, but Grant also has to juggle his training with vital chemotherapy: ”Because of the after-effects of my treatment I have to be very careful about my training regime, it is not possible to do any exercise at all for seven days after treatment, and even after then I have to ease back in over the next two weeks, making a slow and steady improvement.” Grant may call his progress slow and steady, but he is already cycling 15 miles a night, with longer rides at the weekend and is planning to begin cycling to work shortly, which is 20 miles each way. Grant says: ”By the end of July, I will be fully fit and ready to do the challenge of a lifetime. I really can’t wait to get going, and test myself to the limit.” If you want to sponsor Grant, visit his website at www.grantcrawley.com and pledge your support for his outstanding personal challenge. And if hearing about Grant has inspired you to take up a challenge of your own, log on to the Action Medical Research website at www.action.org.uk and find out more about a range of challenge events which you can take on to support the charity dedicated to building a healthier future for everyone. The Charity is funding research into many serious diseases and conditions, including premature birth, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, osteoporosis, sickle cell disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke. ## ENDS NOTES TO EDITORS Grant Crawley is available for interview. Action Medical Research can provide follow up stories on Grant’s progress through the trip and his personal achievements. For more information about Action Medical Research, please contact: Zoë Mitchell PR Officer Action Medical Research Tel: 01403 327404 Email: zmitchell@action.org.uk Action Medical Research is a national charity, which is dedicated to building a healthier future for everyone. The Charity is funding research into many serious diseases and conditions, including premature birth, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, osteoporosis, sickle cell disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke. Action Medical Research has been making breakthroughs for over 50 years, and its life-saving work benefits babies, children and adults. The Charity’s successes include helping develop the UK polio vaccine, ultrasound scanning in pregnancy, the hip replacement operation, and discovering the link between taking folic acid and preventing spina bifida. www.action.org.uk
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