Kindhearted man to ride Harley Davidson around Northern Ireland to raise awareness of rare condition
A Co Antrim man is set to ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle around Northern Ireland later this month in a bid to raise both money and awareness for people suffering from the rare condition PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy).
Greer Ferguson will be taking on the fundraising effort across all six of Northern Ireland’s counties on July 25 in aid of The PSP Association.
The Aldergrove resident is conducting the generous initiative after being inspired by his sister-in-law, Christine Ferguson.
Mrs Ferguson, who lives in Jordanstown, is being treated for the rare condition. She can no longer walk, speak, eat (she is currently surviving on a small number of nutritional supplements daily) and her vision has diminished.
It is believed that there are only approximately 4,000 people living with the condition across the United Kingdom.
Speaking to the Times, Greer’s sister Sharon Austin said: “Christine, who is married to my brother Ivan, is in constant pain and requires assistance with every aspect of her life. Despite this, she remains cheerful and has made us aware that she is keen to help others with this horrible illness, by roping her family into fundraising activities.
“Our younger brother Greer, who has been riding motorbikes since his teenage years, will be travelling around Northern Ireland on Sunday, July 25, stopping off in each county to take photographs and provide an update. He hopes to have it all covered in around eight hours.
“Christine trained as a nurse at the RVH before embarking in a career in the NHS which saw her move to Scotland, be a midwife and a district nurse.
“Ivan and Christine bought a nursing home in the south of England and worked there for around 10 years. She retired at around 60 and started getting ill at around 67. There was unexplained falling and her writing began to deteriorate.
“PSP is very hard to diagnose and at first medical staff thought she had Parkinson’s Disease and then Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). After further investigation, they started to treat her for PSP. Some of her symptoms can be alleviated, but nothing can be done to stall the condition’s progression.
“Any money raised will help people living with PSP in the future and will support further research into the condition.”
Greer added: “I’ll be travelling on my Harley Davidson Road Glide Special from Antrim to Larne, up the coast and onto Londonderry, coming round through Strabane, into Enniskillen, then Armagh and Newry and along to Newcastle before making my way back home. It’s a route of around 340 miles.
“I joined the BBB Motorcycle Club around nine years ago and we’ve raised approximately £60,000 for worthy causes such as Cancer Research, Marie Curie and Cash For Kids in that time.
“Christine had heard about other fundraising efforts for The PSP Association and wanted to contribute in some way. Christine is no longer able to collect the money herself, but I am glad I can play my part in raising funds and awareness for the charity.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has generously backed the effort so far and everyone who is planning on contributing to the charity. It is much appreciated.”
At the time of going to print over £770 has been raised in aid of the charitable effort. If you would like to make a donation, click here
Click here to read Roddensvale School teacher raises £1,100 with ‘mile a day’ challenge
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