Tom Wickert from Passenger Bikes has been involved in the Dash since the very first event. We had a chat with him to find out why he keeps supporting the Duchenne Dash.
Tom, can you explain what you do for the Duchenne Dash?
I carry the stills and video camera operators on the back of my bike moving between all the rider groups throughout the 24 hour ride so they can capture images to record and promote the Dash.
How did you get involved with the Dash and Duchenne UK?
The first Dash was a small affair and Krishnan who was already a customer of mine asked I would be willing to provide my services to help with the filming.
The following year, not wanting to presume on my generosity, Krishnan asked the boss of another firm if any of his riders could help that year. During a phone conversation the other firm's boss mentioned to me in passing that all his riders would want to be paid for their time so I contacted Krishnan to offer my services again free of charge.
How many years have you been involved now?
I've been involved in all SEVEN of the Dash events.
What is it about the Dash that keeps you coming back to help every year?
Last year one of the other volunteers asked me if I have child or have a friend who does that has been affected by Duchenne and if that is why I've helped with all of the Dash events. The thing is that I don't have children so I'll never truly understand the pain and heartache that the parents of boys with the disorder go through, but I've seen the tears in their eyes and the hope that the charity's work brings. If I can even play the smallest part in helping them and others then I'll keep on coming back for as long as it takes.
Whats your best memory from the Dash?
My favourite memories of the Dash each year come from the final run into Paris. The sheer joy and elation of everyone from the first timers to the ride captains as they round the Arc de Triomphe and then arrive at the Eiffel tower to be met by friends and family.......always a bit dusty in the air or it's my allergies playing up when we get there.......
We would like to say a huge thanks to Tom, we are so grateful for his support.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disease diagnosed in childhood. Children born with DMD cannot produce the protein dystrophin which is vital for muscle strength and function. Muscle weakness starts in early childhood. Many use a wheelchair by around the age of 12. As deterioration continues it leads to paralysis and early death, often in their 20s. It almost exclusively affects boys. There is no treatment or cure. In the UK there are around 2,500 boys affected and around 300, 000 worldwide. It is classified as a rare disease.
Duchenne UK is a lean, ambitious and highly focused charity with a clear vision: to fund and accelerate treatments and a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The charity has been formed by the coming together of Joining Jack and Duchenne Children's Trust, the two biggest funders of research in the UK in the last three years. Its president is HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. Its patrons include the broadcasters Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Mary Nightingale, and the sports stars Owen Farrell, Kris Radlinski and Andy Farrell.
For more information visit www.duchenneuk.org