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Belgian charity cyclist comes to Renfrewshire

A Belgian cyclist, who is travelling round Europe for charity, has made a brief stop in Renfrewshire.

Big hearted Jeroen is cycling 10,000 km around Europe to raise money and awareness of Huntington’s disease (HD).

Nearing the end of his long trip, Jereon met Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall and John Eden, Chief Executive of Scottish Huntington’s Association at the national office in Paisley.

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Many of Jereon’s relatives suffer from HD, which is a progressive illness that damages the brain, leading to a steady deterioration in muscle co-ordination and mental abilities.

The damage also causes behavioural and mental health changes. There is presently no cure and those living with the condition will require full-time care in the later stages of the illness.

Provost Hall said: “Having Jeroen take the time to stop off in Renfrewshire is fantastic. It’s not often you get the opportunity to meet another with such an adventurous spirit for charitable causes.

“As a retired nurse, I am well aware of the devastation HD can cause in the lives of victims and their families. Providing the right care and support is vital to ensuring people can live as full a life as they can for as long as possible.

“Although I won’t be taking on such a lengthy challenge as Jeroen, I really admire his tenacity and determination. I hope I will be able to display the same focus when I take part in a wing-walking display along with seventeen big-hearted locals in August.

“I’m pleased Renfrewshire was one of Jeroen’s stops along the way and that we are able to give him such a warm welcome. I wish him well in the next leg of his journey and hope he raises the much needed awareness of HD.”

Jeroen de Schepper said: “I’m cycling 10,000 km round Europe to bring the message of HD to as many people as possible. Cycling is ideal because it shows the isolation that people suffering from HD experience. It’s also great exercise and allows me to see such beautiful countryside as I make my way round Europe.

“My goal is to raise awareness of the disease and at the same time raise money for the European Huntington Association, a charity that helped my grandmother and aunts Ria, Emma and Bernadette with the disease. The money raised will help to fund the construction of Huntington houses in Eastern Europe.”

The Scottish Huntington’s Association are the only charity in the country supporting families living with HD.

“It is great to welcome Jeroen to Scotland and to support him on his epic journey around Europe to raise awareness of the impact HD has on individuals and families. We work closely with our corresponding Associations in England and Ireland but any chance we get to build closer links with our European colleagues and extend our networks is very welcome indeed,’ said SHA chief executive, John Eden.

Details of how to donate to the European Huntington Association can be found on Jeroen’s blog – http://crosscountry4huntington.wordpress.com/doneren/.

For more information on Huntington’s disease, please visit www.hdscotland.org or call 0141 848 0308.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]