A STRETFORD man is lining up his latest challenge with a charity cycle ride from Manchester to Blackpool.

Richard Smillie, 29, who has had epilepsy for the past four years, will embark on the second leg of a four event fundraising challenges on behalf of the Epilepsy Society.

He completed the first challenge of cycling Manchester to Liverpool on June 11 and his journey to Blackppol sets out on July 9, followed by pedalling around Manchester on September 3 and from London to Paris on September 27.

Richard developed epilepsy without warning after suffering a seizure while travelling to work.

He explains: “Life until the age of 24 was good – I had success at school, university and work. I had a great social life.

"Then I suffered my first seizure but there were no warning signs.

“The impact of this seizure and my subsequent diagnosis was significant. I struggled to come to terms with not having control of my body and never wanted to stop my lifestyle.

From that point onwards Richard had to contend with regular seizure which sometimes would come weekly and more recently with months in between and with the injuries sustained from such an event.

Despite his condition, which is now controlled by medication, he remains resolute in putting himself in the driving seat.

He adds: “I am determined to do all I can to raise money for epilepsy research and, at the same time, raise awareness of the condition and research going on to control the condition.

“I would welcome any help from local businesses or individuals. I would be grateful for any donations at all via my justgiving page to help me raise as much money as possible for research into this condition, which has such an impact on so many people’s lives.”

Anyone who wants to help can log onto: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Rich-Smillie4