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'I feel absolutely ecstatic' – MS sufferer makes it to Groats on unsupported charity coastal cycle run


By David G Scott

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A woman with multiple sclerosis (MS) made it to John O'Groats as part of an unsupported 5000-mile charity cycle expedition around the coastline of Great Britain.

Lis van Lynden (49) set off from Chiswick on May 7 on the charity run for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust (MS Trust) to fund more research and support for people with MS.

"I was influenced to do this after reading One Man and his Bike by Mike Carter two years ago and then tried going across London on my bike to see if I could do it in the same time as taking the Tube – and I did it," Lis told the paper.

Lis van Lynden suffers from MS and is raising money for a MS charity by cycling around the British coastline.
Lis van Lynden suffers from MS and is raising money for a MS charity by cycling around the British coastline.

"I decided to never use public transport again and cycled all over London after that. I have MS but realised I had no pain at all when I was cycling. After reading the book [One Man and his Bike] I was very much inspired to do my own coastal journey – I'm following his journey basically."

Donations can be given to Lis at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lisvanlynden

Lis said she is following the ocean around the UK and uses a special app to coordinate parts of the route. She says she intends to cycle in some islands around the coast such as Orkney, Shetland, the Outer Hebrides, Skye, and the Isle of Wight.

"I will be doing it unsupported and solo, though one or two friends and family will join me on certain small stretches of the journey for a few days at a time, should they wish. Everything I need will be carried with me."

Lis at the old fog horn at John O'Groats.
Lis at the old fog horn at John O'Groats.

In early March 2013, a shooting pain started from the top of her right arm and went down towards her hand which she put down to sleeping badly on it. "I don't usually run to the GP but that morning, I most certainly did, as I found out that I had lost all feeling on the right side of my body, whilst taking a shower," said Lis.

"This terrified me but even more so, when the GP told me to go straight to the local hospital. I will never forget the walk to Charing Cross Hospital. I also had chronic headaches building up to this and felt extremely ill. I knew that something was wrong."

Lis van Lynden suffers from MS and is raising money for a MS charity.
Lis van Lynden suffers from MS and is raising money for a MS charity.

After an anxious wait of several months Lis was finally diagnosed with MS on July 8, 2013. "A lot of people have to wait a lot longer than this. Some don't get diagnosed for years. It took a further six years for me to know how to handle my MS and keep it at bay and not panic. Whilst it has completely changed my life, its also taught me to appreciate everything we have around us."

Lis made it to John O'Groats last week having completed 1100-miles of her journey and passed through Cape Wrath yesterday after cycling via Thurso and the north coast road. "I'm heading to Land's End and then across the south coast of England to Dover and around to the Thames again."

Follow Lis on Instagram at: www.instagram.com/lisvltravels/ on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/lis.vanlynden and on Twitter at: twitter.com/LisvlTravels

Donations can also be given to Lis at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lisvanlynden

"I feel absolutely ecstatic to make it this far," Lis told the Caithness Courier.

Lis' bike at the old fog horn at Groats. Everything for her journey is in her bike panniers.
Lis' bike at the old fog horn at Groats. Everything for her journey is in her bike panniers.

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