A DAD from Bromsgrove is set to tackle the gruelling 910 mile cycle ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise funds for his disabled son.

Ben Stanford will not only be taking on the huge challenge, but is hoping to reach Land's End in seven days - equating to around 130 miles a day.

Ben's son Fletcher was diagnosed in October 2020 with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) which is a genetic condition affecting motor neurones found in the spinal cord.

SMA is incurable and may mean that Fletcher will need a wheelchair for the rest of his life, with the likelihood of SMA sufferers walking unaided very low.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Karl and Jack in training for the 910 mile cycle challenge. Karl and Jack in training for the 910 mile cycle challenge.

The doting dad, along with his partner's brother, Jason Glover, and partner's cousin, Karl Cooper, have already raised nearly £19,000, £1,000 away from their target.

The trio are due to begin their ambitious ride on Sunday and Ben says they are very excited albeit nervous for the week ahead.

"We are excited for the ride - we have done all the training and preparation so its just getting it done now," said the 30 year old.

"Jack and Karl have not done anything like this before and only brought bikes back in January, so they are feeling quite nervous.

"I have done a charity bike ride from Pairs to London about eight years ago in memory of a guy from Bromsgrove called Rob laws who sadly passed away. However that ride was only around 300 miles so this is over triple the distance."

Ben, who is a PE teacher at North Bromsgrove High School and his partner Adele Glover have been overwhelmed with the amount of money people have donated.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Ben took part in a cycle ride from Paris to London around eight years ago. Ben took part in a cycle ride from Paris to London around eight years ago.

"We did not expect to raise this much money and we raised £1,000 in the first week of our justgiving page going live", said Ben.

"We cannot believe how kind everyone has been especially with how difficult the last year has been - we are completely blown away.

"The money raised will go towards physiotherapy sessions, additional equipment to improve his quality of life and home improvements and modifications for when he gets older."

Currently there is only one drug treatment for SMA - Spinraza - which the NHS have provided since 2019, with Ben and Adele remaining hopeful that Fletcher will receive this treatment.

Ben added: "We don't know how treatment will affect him as its all so new.

"He was six months old when he started to deteriorate as he couldn't lie on his stomach and lift his head up.

"I like to describe it as he can lift a pencil but can not lift a brick - he has functionality but no strength.

As well as raising money for Fletcher’s future, Ben and Adele are keen to raise awareness of the condition.

To donate visit justgiving.com/fletcherlivingwithsma