A KEEN cyclist will be riding 52 miles from London to Southend to support a charity which helps a family friend.

David Hodby, of London Road, Hadleigh, will take on the British Heart Foundation’s bike ride on Sunday, July 20.

He is raising money for Debra – a charity which helps people suffering with genetic skin blistering condition Epidermolysis Bullosa.

Mr Hodby, 25, decided to support the little-known charity as he knows someone who suffers from the painful condition.

He said: “Not many people have heard of it. It was something I had never heard of. My colleague’s daughter, she’s 26, and she has it. The people who have it wake up every single day in pain.”

Epidermolysis Bullosa is a group of genetic disorders which result in fragile skin and, in some cases, internal organs.

Blisters, open wounds and sores form as a result of the slightest touch, rub or trauma.

It affects about one in 17,000 people and it is estimated there are currently 5,000 people with the condition in the UK. Mr Hodby said: “I was doing the ride for fun, but when I heard about my colleague’s daughter I thought I would try to raise some money for the charity and ride with a purpose.

“I’ve never done the ride before. I’ve cycled 13 miles and I have been training, but I’m going to have to push myself to the limit to complete it.”

So far, he has raised £300 and hopes to reach his £500 target when he crosses the finish line at Priory Park, in Southend, on Sunday.

To sponsor Mr Hodby, visit www.justgiving.com/david hodby