Ipswich: Dad completes bike marathon with inspirational daughter in mind

WITH every turn of his wheel, fundraising enthusiast Richard Offord had one thing in mind – his inspirational daughter.

Heather Offord, 14, was born with Goldenhar syndrome, meaning that one side of her face did not develop fully.

And today her father is celebrating after completing a 900-mile cycle ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for a charity which helps people with the condition.

Mr Offord, of Clive Avenue, Ipswich, said he was proud to complete the “emotional” trek, alongside his friend Craig Bolton, who also has a child with the condition.

He added: “It was definitely a challenge, but one that I was very proud to complete. And to think that we did it all with only one puncture.

“The first bit was definitely one of the hardest parts to the trip, we were facing gale-force winds in the John O’Groats area and it set us back a little bit.”

Mr Offord explained how keeping his daughter in mind at all times helped him to successfully tackle the challenge.

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“It was hard but I had Heather in mind the whole time and she kept me going,” he said.

“There was nothing greater to push me along when it was getting hard than to think of her, she was never far from my mind. It was quite emotional actually.”

Heather has undergone more than ten operations, including having her tongue untied as a toddler, but the student, who attends Thurleston High School, continues to take it all in her stride.

The brave teenager has undergone treatment at Ipswich Hospital and Great Ormond Street – where she has had surgery on the reconstruction of her ear and the lengthening of her jaw.

The duo of intrepid adventurers completed the adventure in 12 days, and reached the finish line last Wednesday.

So far, they have raised �2,130 in aid of the group that offers support to families affected by the rare condition.

To donate to Richard’s cause, visit www.everyclick.com/goldenhar_ jog2le_sponsored_cycle.