A proud mum has hailed her teenage son a hero for tackling a tough bike ride for charity.
Joe Allen, 15, suffers from a strain of Vasculitis disease which causes joint pain in his legs, hips and arms.
But that hasn’t stopped him signing up for a 55-mile ride through the Peak District as part of this Sunday’s L’Eroica Britannia event.
His mum Ruth said: “L’Eroica means heroes and that epitomises Joe. It is a heroic effort. We are all in awe of him for his determination. He is very headstrong and is determined that he is going to do it.”
Joe, of Blackwell, near Buxton, will be pedalling up steep hills near his home to raise money for Vasculitis UK. He said: “I recently found out that I am in remission and thought that it would be a good opportunity to raise money for the charity.”
The Lady Manners School pupil was diagnosed with Wegener’s Granulomatosis when he was 11.
Ruth said: “He just came downstairs with a swollen eyelid and thought he had got something in his eye. The doctor gave him eyedrops and then a week later gave him more eyedrops.”
When the swelling on his right eyelid didn’t subside, Joe went to Macclesfield Hospital and then Sheffield Children’s Hospital where a CT scan showed a large lump behind his eyeball. “If it hadn’t been noticed, he would have lost his sight,” said Ruth.
Surgeons performed two biopsies, cutting through his eyelid to get to the back of his eye. Ruth said: “They couldn’t remove the lump because it was too close to the lacrimal gland (tear) gland and Joe was put on immuno-suppressant drugs and steroids.”
Joe got the good news that he had been waiting for in October when doctors told him that the disease was in remission. Ruth said: “He still has to have regular tests in hospital; it is something that may be with him for the rest of his life.
“He is very brave and doesn’t like a lot of fuss. For the first two years of going to Lady Manners School, no-one knew he was suffering from anything. If you saw him all the time when he was ill, you would say there was nothing wrong with him, but you don’t see what is going on inside.”
To sponsor Joe, visit www.justgiving.com/Joe-Allen5.