Jamie prepares for the ride of his life

Jamie’s Story

JamieHartley2On Sunday, April 2, Jamie Hartley will go on the ride of his life.

Jamie, 22, from Blyth, was diagnosed with Juvenile Huntington’s Disease (JHD) when he was just 13-years-old.

Juvenile Huntington’s Disease is a slowly progressing hereditary disease which causes brain cells to die. It is a life-limiting genetic disorder for which there is no cure.

Jamie, whose older brother Kyle, 24, also has JHD, attended Hedleys College for two years and has been accessing the Foundation’s adult day opportunities at Able 2 Forest Hall since December.

In January, Jamie suffered a devastating seizure leading his condition to rapidly deteriorate, so his family decided to plan a final ride for motorcycle-mad Jamie.

The illness means Jamie has very little control of his movement so Dad Mark put a message on Facebook to 30 friends appealing to borrow a sidecar for Jamie.

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Within hours he had received more than 1400 responses, and as a couple of weeks passed that number had risen to over 200,000.

Support for the appeal gathered pace and now Jamie will be taking the ride of his life alongside more than 1000 bikers in a ride out in Blyth organised by the North East Bikers Group this Sunday 11am-4pm.

And that’s not all! Various fundraising activities and events are taking place over the weekend to raise money for the family after hundreds of people came forward wanting to help.

“We have been incredibly overwhelmed by the response we’ve received,” said Mark. “I really didn’t expect a status on Facebook to 30 friends to go worldwide

“We are absolutely stunned and so grateful to everyone who has contacted us and offered to help in some way.

“Now, instead of me and a few pals taking Jamie out, there will be over 1,000 bikers from all over the UK and even some from Europe taking part in the ride out.

“Jamie is really looking forward to it. We’ve been showing him pictures of the bikes and cars that will be there and his face lights up.

“We’ve been practicing for the weekend as our main concern is keeping Jamie safe and looking after all these wonderful cars and bikes that people have offered to bring.”

Full details of Jamie’s Ride and the whole weekend can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/events/113879949139426/

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