£1,100 raised ahead of 100-mile charity cycle in grandpa’s memory
- Credit: Archant
An Ely man has raised more than £1,000 ahead of a 100-mile charity cycle challenge in memory of his grandpa.
Brandon Ford set himself the target of raising £750 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society after his “sport-mad” grandpa David Ford died from the disease at the age of 87.
The 20-year-old estate agent, who has so far received more than 48 donations from friends, family members and strangers via his GoFundMe page, said he was very close with his grandpa and that he was “almost a dad to me”.
“When he was able to walk he was really sporty; he used to set up skiing trips for him and 50 other people, played cricket, and football for Cambridge City,” said Brandon, who came up with the fundraising idea during lockdown when he got back into cycling.
“I had completely forgotten how to ride a bike,” said the former Ely Community College pupil, who has picked it up again quickly, having “enjoyed” his first 100km cycle a month-and-a-half ago.
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“I was able to just carry on with the rest of my day afterwards, so I thought why not push myself for 100 miles the next time and really make it one to remember.”
Brandon had intended to tell his grandpa about his fundraising plans but says he “ran out of time.
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“I told myself I wanted to do it before he got really bad, but after his death I just thought there’s no time like the present, I’m going to crack on and do it. Why not?”
The route, Brandon says, has taken quite a lot of planning in terms of the logistics.
“It’s not just a random 100 miles; I will be cycling around locations that my grandpa held close to his heart, starting from Tottenham Hotspur stadium as he was a big Spurs supporter and always wanted to see the new ground.
“Then I will be finally finishing at his home in Cambridge.”
Brandon said the support and donations have been “beyond belief. I really have been surprised and some of the generosity is too much to put into words.”
He added that he wanted to raise money for the MS Society because “I knew my grandparents had been donating to them for years and I asked my grandma which one they used.
“I’ve seen the logo around their house quite often so I thought that’s the best place and where grandpa would have wanted it to go.”
With the challenge just days away, Brandon is “feeling excited and looking forward to the day - I just hope it doesn’t rain.”
The 100-mile charity cycle takes place this Sunday (October 4).
To donate, visit the GoFundMe page.