Man tackles bike ride for a heartfelt cause

A HEART condition is not stopping a man from tackling a 1,200 mile charity bike ride from Darlington to France.

Anthony Garbutt, 31, of Seymour Drive, Yarm, suffers from atrial tachycardia – an irregular, rapid heartbeat – and was helped by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) following his diagnosis.

In recognition of the advice he received from the charity and to raise awareness of heart conditions, Mr Garbutt plans to cycle from Darlington to its twin town of Amiens in France next spring.

He wants the trip to be cost neutral so that all sponsorship money goes to the BHF and is hoping members of the local community will donate and lend equipment for the trip.

Mr Garbutt said: “More recognition needs to be given to adverse health conditions in younger people and the various treatment methods available.

“Before I had a heart problem myself I didn’t know a lot about the BHF.

“As soon as I was diagnosed I starting looking up the condition online and the BHF had a lot of information on their website.

"You can contact them free of charge and they will talk you through things.”

Mr Garbutt, who works at the Spring Personnel recruitment agency in Bondgate, Darlington, said he also backs The Northern Echo’s A Chance to Live campaign to encourage more gyms to install heart-start defibrillator machines.

He said: “If money I raise can theoretically help the BHF buy more defibrillators which could end up in Darlington then I’m quite happy about that.”

Mr Garbutt will have to average 100 miles each day to complete the trip in 14 days and plans to set off on May 17, 2013.

To pledge support visit www.tour-de-euro.co.uk for donation details or contact Mr Garbutt on 07905-292855.

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