Jason Smith, who has owned the computer repairs shop for eleven years, first heard about Marfan syndrome when his best friend Steve O'Leary's daughter Skye (9) was diagnosed with the condition one year ago.
Marfan syndrome is an inherited disorder of the body's connective tissue that affects men and women of any race or ethnic group. Children and adolescents with Marfan syndrome look and feel different and restrictions are imposed on them because of their poor eyesight, painful joints and cardiac problems. Even the games other children play are frequently too dangerous for children with Marfan syndrome.
Team Argon raised over £2,000 for various charities in sponsored bike rides last year and they decided that the Marfan trust should be their charity for 2014.
Said Jason, “The outlook for suffers of Marfan syndrome isn’t great at this point in time and Skye is such a brave, happy, bubbly little girl. We’d like to hope that by raising money for the charity and helping to make more people aware of the condition one day through research they might find a way to combat the illness.
“We are all keen cyclists so these challenges for us are a fun way of keeping fit and fundraising for such a good cause that is very close to my heart.”
The ride is just one of the fundraising activities planned by Jason which also includes a sold-out charity dinner dance in Colchester on the 8th of February when the cycling team will be dressed as waiters!
The team’s stylish personalised cycling jerseys were designed and donated by another local businessman Graham Marshall, owner of Recognition Express which is based at Purdeys Industrial Estate in Rochford.
Said Graham: “Our business specialises in producing branded promotional goods and clothing so it made sense and was easy for me to support Jason and his team in this way. I’m impressed that they are taking on this tough challenge for charity. He’s been a customer of ours for a long time and it was the least I could do. ”
Bad weather is preventing the team from doing much on–road training so they have taken to the gym instead doing spinning classes and using the exercise bikes.
Team Argon will be setting off from outside the shop in Southend Road at 7am on the 19th of May and hope to cover the 220 miles to Paris within three days.