MP bikes to battle Batten

MP Mark Spencer and Battle Batten's Andrew Dawkins
MP Mark Spencer and Battle Batten's Andrew Dawkins

MP Mark Spencer is set to cycle 56 miles around the border of his Sherwood constituency to raise money for his pal’s charity Battle Batten.

The campaign was set up by Andy Dawkins after his twin boys Freddie and Louie were diagnosed by Batten Disease, a degenerative condition that affects their sight, speech, motor skills and will tragically limit their lives.

The Dawkins family of Hucknall

The Dawkins family of Hucknall

The duo will complete the ride together in a bid to raise cash and awareness of the rare condition that affects 1:30,000 births and for which there is no cure.

Mr Spencer said: “I’ve known Andy for a while and what his family have done in terms of fundraising promoting the charity, for the sake of their boys and to give them the best life possible but also for other children across the UK with this condition, is really inspiring. Their dedication in incredible.

“That’s why when Andy asked me if there was any way I could help I wanted to show my support, and I’ve put this ride together.

“I hope that it will encourage people to donate, and to look at their website to find out more about what they can do to help.”

Sunday’s ride will take the pair, along with other friends and volunteers, on a route from the MP’s home in Lambley all the way around the borders of the constituency, taking in Bestwood Village, Hucknall, Ravenshead, Blidworth, Rainworth, Clipstone and Edwinstowe on the route up to Thoresby Hall, before they head back home through Ollerton, Eakring, Kirklington, Edingley and Woodborough.

Born in 2005, Freddie and Louie are the only identical twins in the world with Batten Disease for which there is currently no cure.

Research has helped scientists to understand the disease, but because there are several strains of the disease and very few sufferers, there is very little funding to help find a cure and the Dawkins family have so far raised thousands of pounds towards further research.

Andy’s wife Sarah said: “We live in the hope a cure can be found in time and that’s why we are battling Batten.”

You can find out more about the disease and the charity at battlebatten.com

You can support the charity by emailing Mark on mark.spencer.mp@parliament.uk