Donna from Global Interiors London to Paris Charity Bike Ride!
13th April 2017
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Donna’s story

The Motor Neurone Disease Association is a charity which has a lot of meaning for me and my family. My father-in-law Pete was diagnosed with the disease in 2009, and passed away in 2010. Without Pete, there would have been no Global Interiors, as it was Pete’s unique furniture designs that we first started selling in 1997. He developed our unique Boss range of furniture, which we are renowned for to this day. My partner Julian now runs the factory following Pete’s death, so we are able to carry on with his wonderful work even though he’s no longer with us.

If you took part in the amazingly successful viral ice bucket challenges in 2014, you would have been raising money for research into Motor Neurone Disease perhaps without even realising it. Having originated in America, the challenge was also known as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Motor Neurone Disease is known as ALS in the USA, and stands for “amyotrophic lateral sclerosis”.

The ice bucket phenomenon raised a staggering $115 million. There is so little known about Motor Neurone, and as a result of research funded by some of the proceeds raised by the challenge, a new gene that is a cause for the disease was discovered in the summer of 2016.

It was whilst reading about this breakthrough discovery on my Facebook feed that I clicked through to the Motor Neurone Disease Association’s page (MNDA).  There was a section saying “Can you help?”, so I clicked through and saw various challenges the charity were organising to raise funds. One such challenge was for a bike ride from London to Paris. Now I have to tell you I haven’t been on a bike for 35 years, am in no way a “keeno” keep fit fanatic, and at 47 years old, have various creaky bits and pieces. So why do it? Well, let me tell you a story………….

Global Interiors is really and truly a family business. A REAL family business.  Pete was our original designer and that’s now passed on to Julian, my partner. In our shops, I’ve been blessed to have been supported by my amazing Mum Josie, and my fabulous Dad Les. My wonderful staff are my extended family, many of whom have worked with us for a good number of years. Lots of people who have been kind enough to visit us in the 20 years we’ve been in business will know Mum and Dad, and will know my Dad was a true gentleman. Sadly, following a short illness, Dad passed away in July 2014. Like Pete, he is greatly missed.

When my Dad met my Mum in 1968, he was on leave. He was in the RAF, and had been stationed in Paris. He told us many stories of his time there, and he always promised Mum that he would take her to Paris. Sadly, he never managed it. The bike ride from London to Paris takes place on the 19th – 23rd April this year. The 23rd of April would have been my Dad’s 75th birthday, and as he never got the chance to go back, I’m taking a little bit of him with me. Some of his ashes will be in my back pack, and my lovely Mum will meet me in Paris so we can visit some of his favourite spots, and sprinkle him about.

So that’s it. That’s my story. That’s the reason that at 47, being pretty unfit, having a clicky hip and dodgy knees, I will be cycling over 300 miles to raise funds for a very deserving charity, but more importantly, it’s also to honour  2 amazing individuals.

 I’m doing it for my Dads




About the Author

Global I

Member since: 5th February 2015

Gobal Interiors, based in Bolton, was set up in 1997 to sell high-quality and unique pieces of furniture for all rooms of the house.

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