Catherine to celebrate her 60th by taking her daughters to Paris – by bike!

A grandmother from Witney is planning to celebrate her 60th birthday by cycling from London to Paris with her two daughters. Catherine O’Driscoll is hoping that the five-day trip, which begins on June 26, will raise £1250 for a charity which means a lot to her family, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).

“My nephew Mark, who is now 18, was born with the rare genetic disorder, alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency, which affects his liver and other organs,” explains Catherine, a retired GP practice manager. “He was diagnosed as a baby and has coped amazingly for many years with lots of hospital visits and treatments, including a liver transplant when he was 14 years old.

“Because of Mark’s experience, we know all about the great support which CLDF provides for families who are affected by childhood liver disease. As well as being at the end of the phone when they are needed, the charity puts on special events where children, their parents and siblings can meet others who are going through similar problems, enabling them to share experiences. They also organise trips away for young people who have liver disease, enabling them to support each other as they learn to manage their condition themselves”

Catherine and her family have done various fundraising activities over the years. She and her daughters, Philippa 37, who lives in Witney and Christine, 35, who lives in London, have long wanted to cycle from London to Paris but as grandchildren came along, long distance cycling had to be put on hold. However, Catherine’s 60th birthday this summer presented the perfect opportunity for an adventure and a fundraiser!

“We are all really looking forward to it,” says Catherine. “Snow, rain, work and children meant that training got off to a slow start, but the longer days mean we can increase the length of our cycles. so I am sure we will get enough miles in before June. My husband Denis will be the vital fourth team member, driving our support car with a good supply of padded shorts and spare tyres. He will also be making several stops along the way to get us much needed sustenance!”

Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation commented: “CLDF is the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all childhood liver diseases, by providing information and emotional support, funds for research and a voice for all those affected. In order to do this however, we rely almost entirely on voluntary donations, so we are so grateful to Catherine and her girls for taking on this challenge for us. It represents a real commitment in terms of time and effort and we hope they really enjoy the experience.”

You can support the O’Driscoll London to Paris cycle ride by going to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/odgirls-londontoparis.