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Carmarthenshire man ‘overwhelmed’ by support for Motoron Cymru challenge

Bob taking a break during training in Snowdonia for the Motoron Cymru challenge.

Friends, family and businesses from Wales and beyond have pledged their support to the Motoron Cymru fund-raising challenge in aid of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) research, which takes place next week.

Bob Gledhill, 52, his wife, Dr Lowri Davies, and son, Will, 16, who live in Rhyd-ar-gaeau, near Carmarthen, launched the challenge after Bob was diagnosed with MND, a life-shortening illness, last autumn.

The Motoron Cymru challenge will see Bob and his family, along with over 100 family, friends and colleagues, take on the Welsh Three Peaks, cycling between each peak, over the weekend of 2-4 July.

Bob’s friends in Australia will be joining in the effort, with fund-raising activities taking place in New South Wales at the same time.  Local Carmarthenshire businesses are also supporting the challenge.

All this support means the original target of £10,000 has been met, with a revised target of £15,000 also close to being met.  Money raised will go towards the ‘My Name’5 Doddie Foundation’, set up by former Scottish rugby international, Doddie Weir, to fund research into cures for MND, and to the multi-faith hospice at Skanda Vale, near Llandysul. 

Bob Gledhill says: “We have been overwhelmed by the support shown by friends, family and local businesses in Carmarthenshire and beyond who have all got behind the challenge and have helped us with the fund raising.

“Participants in the challenge have also made a massive commitment in terms of their own personal training for the event, and I’m delighted that friends in ‘New South Cymru’, Australia, will be taking part too.”

While there are very few licensed treatment options for MND, with the average survival time from diagnosis at 2-5 years, the family has researched alternative treatments and supplements.  Bob has regular acupuncture, and Oxygen Therapy at the hyperbaric chamber in Swansea.  Nutrition is also a major focus of daily life, with particular attention paid to achieving the correct balance of protein, fat and carbohydrate to maintain muscle mass. Maintaining body weight is a major challenge for MND sufferers and so far Bob is doing well.

Bob adds: “Training for the event has helped me stay positive and very active, which is extremely important in coping with this terrible disease.  I’m now looking forward to the challenge itself, and to raising even more money to fund research into a cure for MND.”