BENN Heatley enjoys a pint – and he’s looking forward to over a hundred of them.
Now Benn, 33, is asking people in Wokingham to promise him some more.
But the father-of-two won’t be popping down to his local pub to say cheers. Instead he is asking people to donate a pint at their local blood bank.
Last year, Benn was struck down with Guilian-Barre Syndrome, a rare condition which almost left him paralysed.
“There is no cure, but there are treatments that can help,” he explained.
“I was lucky enough to receive one of these treatments, intravenous immunoglobulin which is made from donated blood that contains healthy antibodies that help ease the symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness.
“I was lucky, the medicine did its job in stopping me from being completely paralysed.
“Roll on a year, and after a slow and difficult rehabilitation I’ve just about recovered full movement. I am lucky that this wasn’t worse, and am also really thankful for all those people who donated blood that was turned into the medicine that helped limit the damage that this disease did to me.”
Benn, who is a member of Wokingham Cycle Club got back on his bike as part of his recovery and decided to make a sponsored ride with a difference.
Along with his friend, Mike Kirby, he cycled 200 miles last month from his parents house in Devon to his home in Wokingham.
Benn’s wife, Stella said she was proud of her husband’s amazing achievement, especially since it was just over a year since he was lying in a hospital bed.
“They left Devon just before 5am and arrived in Wokingham just before 10pm. In all, they spent 14 hours in the saddle,” she said.
“Rather than asking people to donate money, Benn and Mike are hoping people will donate a pint of blood which can be used to help others.
“So far, over 80 people have signed up and we hope to get over a hundred soon. I want to thank everyone who signs up to give a pint. They will save someone’s life who they will never know but those recipients will forever be thankful.”
Added Benn: “Giving blood saves lives. In my case it helped prevent a horrible illness getting worse. So if you’d like to support my challenge I’m asking you to promise me a pint.”
To sign up to Benn’s pint pledge, go to: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/R2N7S9H