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Vauxhall supports 1,300-mile charity ride in aid of local girl

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Vauxhall supports 1,300-mile charity ride in aid of local girl

Vauxhall has supplied a Brit-built Vivaro van to a pair of local men undertaking a 1,300 mile charity bike ride from Ellesmere Port to Venice, to raise funds for sufferers of Rett Syndrome which includes the five year old daughter of one of the men.

Pals Neil Fowler and Steve Downey aim to complete the ride, which includes four Alpine climbs and cycling up to 200 miles per day, in just seven days, with a target of generating £20,000 for charity Reverse Rett, and raising awareness of Rett Syndrome, a serious neurological syndrome.

Neil’s five-year-old daughter Ciara suffers from Rett Syndrome, a developmental disorder almost exclusively found in seemingly healthy girls, and caused by a random genetic mutation at the point of conception.

Sufferers of Rett Syndrome lose vital skills such as walking, talking, feeding and use of their hands. The disorder can also cause a number of other issues such as breathing difficulties, seizures and even sudden unexplained death. It is often described as having the symptoms of autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and anxiety disorders all in one.

"As things stand there is no treatment or cure for Rett Syndrome. Life expectancy is significantly reduced and Ciara, along with others girls, faces the prospect of a life in a wheelchair and 24 hour one-to-one care," said Neil, who is also a physiotherapist at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

Stefan Fesser, Vauxhall’s Plant Director at EP, said “We are delighted to offer our Vivaro as a support vehicle for this challenge. All at Vauxhall wish Neil and Steve all the very best on their epic journey.”

To learn more about the Port2Port challenge, Rett Syndrome and to make a donation, visit: