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Friends band together to help Calne teenager
A bike ride to raise money for a Calne teenager with cerebral palsy has exceeded its target.
Fifteen-year-old John Bentley School student Leanne Stevens, who has difficulty walking, needed a new tricycle as she has outgrown her last one.
So family friend Graham Strange decided he would undertake a 40-mile bike ride to raise money for the £600 trike, with any money left over going to the Oxford hospital where his daughter went through a kidney transplant three years ago.
Mr Strange’s kindness inspired two of his friends, David Morgan and Kevin Foley, and the three amateur cyclists cycled the distance on Saturday.
Leanne’s mum Sheila, of Northcote, Calne, said: “None of them are professional cyclists, so it’s really wonderful of them to do it. They raised the money through sponsorship forms. It’s a big thing for them to do for Leanne.”
The cyclists arrived an hour later than planned as the result of two punctures, but with big smiles on their faces.
Mrs Stevens said she is proud of her daughter’s resilience.
“Through her own perseverance, she manages to get about from place to place, but she’s got no control over her feet, so it can be quite hard for her,” she said.
“But Leanne’s just a normal 15-year-old in lots of ways. She wants to be out and about and getting on with it like any teenager.
“This new trike will let her do that.
“It’s got straps for her feet and for her waist, so she’s all safe and can use it properly.”
The cycle challenge, which started at the North Star Club in Bremhill View, Calne, took in Malmesbury, Marlbor-ough and Royal Wootton Bassett, before finishing back at the social club.
And the plucky cyclists were able to present Leanne with her new trike after the ride.
They are hoping to raise more than £800 once they have counted up all the sponsorship, with anything extra going to the hospital.
Mrs Stevens said: “She knew she was going to get it, but she didn’t realise we were going to give it to her on the day.
“Since she was given it, she’s already been out and about. She went out twice on Sunday alone.”