TWELVE months ago Neil Hind was recovering from a transplant operation after receiving a new kidney.
Now he is back in the saddle and racking up the training miles in preparation for a long distance cycle ride from Italy to Liverpool this summer.
The 26-year-old teaching assistant, who is originally from Winnington but now lives in Padova in Italy with his fiancee Nicola, has been given the all clear to complete the 1,150 mile trip with his friend Bobby Beale in June.
The two friends will be raising money for the Kidney unit and ward 9a at the Royal Liverpool Hospital after Neil underwent a kidney transplant operation in February last year.
In 2010, Neil was diagnosed with Alport Syndrome which is a rare genetic condition causing nerve damage and kidney failure.
Neil’s parents Wendy and David, together with his brother Daniel and sister Sammy, who live in Winnington, were all tested to see if they were a match a could provide him with a kidney.
The results showed that Daniel was the best match but David couldn’t bear to see both his sons in hospital and offered him his own kidney instead.
Neil has made a full recovery and is leading a normal life in the Italian sunshine but he wants to repay some of the kindness shown to him and his father during their stay at Royal Liverpool Hospital.
Mum Wendy, who earlier this year asked guests at her 1960s themed 50th birthday party to donate money to the ward and collected £415, said: “I would not have dreamt that 12 months ago he would be considering doing something like this.
“However he is fit and well and determined to do it.
“His dad is going to meet them in France and complete the last part of the journey with them so they will all arrive back in Liverpool at the hospital together.
“Neil cycles most evenings after work and he knows that he will have to make regular stops to take his medication and drink water when he completes the challenge in June and July.
“We’re very proud of him and hope he can raise lots of money for such a good cause.”
For information about Neil's fundraising visit justgiving.com/Neil-Bobby.