Mansfield teenager sets off on mammoth bike ride for dementia charities
A kind-hearted Mansfield teenager has set off on an impressive 215-mile bike ride to raise money for dementia charities in memory of her great-grandparents.
Megan Dillon celebrated her 17th birthday by getting in the saddle for the fundraising challenge which will see her cycle to Brighton in four days.
Setting off from her home on Monday morning alongside her uncle Daren Packham, the pair will ride between 50 and 60 miles each day before arriving at their destination on Thursday.
She has already raised almost £1,000 in sponsorship and will split the money between Alzheimer’s Research UK and Forget Me Not – a Mansfield-based charity which specialises in providing support for families affected by the disease.
Her mum, Helen, told Chad: “We are immensely proud of Megan – she decided last year she wanted to do this, and she’s just run with it.
"She’s been cycling 80 to 100 miles a week to prepare, but this will be a huge physical and mental challenge for her, and one she’ll remember for the rest of her life.”
Megan was educated at All Saints’ School and is now an apprentice mechanic.
She has spent the past year being unable to ride her scooter at her usual skate park, so has used mountain biking as a release during lockdown.
From being a small child visiting her great-grandparents in care homes and entertaining residents to volunteering in Forget Me Not’s charity shop in Mansfield, Megan has always had ‘an affinity’ for people suffering with dementia.
And after sadly losing her great-grandparents Ken and Marie Fletcher to the disease in 2008 and 2017 respectively, Megan decided to challenge herself to raise money and awareness for the cause which is so close to her heart.
“She always had an affinity to the residents in the care homes, singing, dancing and chatting away to them,” Helen said.
"We are incredibly proud that she is taking on the challenge and are thrilled with how much she has raised already.”