A Banbury teaching assistant is preparing to journey 3,500 kilometres across India in a rickshaw in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Nic Manners, 50, who works at the Carrdus School near Banbury, will be joined by friend Fiona Lees-Millais, 51, of Northumberland when she embarks on the charity trek on Sunday in a three-wheeled auto rickshaw.
Mrs Manners said: “I’m excited about the challenge but also very nervous – it’s going to be a whole new adventure.
“Fiona and I are very close so I’m sure we’ll get through it with each other’s support.
“It sounds as though a mechanical break-down is inevitable and there’s no back up support, so we really will be pushed to the limit.”
The pair funded the trip themselves and will be completely unsupported throughout.
They will set off on a route that will take them from Shillong in the north east of India to Jaisalmer in the west, travelling in the rickshaw at top speeds of about 30mph.
They have already raised more than £12,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the country’s leading dementia research charity. Mrs Manners, of Towcester, said: “My mother-in-law died with vascular dementia earlier this year and Fiona has a very close family member with Alzheimer’s, so it’s a cause that’s very close to our hearts.
“So many people are living with dementia now and seeing the effect it has is heartbreaking.
“I would love to see a treatment that could help people with the condition.”
Miranda Johnson, head of community fundraising at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We couldn’t be more grateful to Nic and Fiona for taking on such an amazing challenge and we’ll be wishing them the best of luck as they set off on their journey.
“Every £20 they raise is enough to fund another hour of research, bringing new treatments, preventions and improved diagnosis ever closer.
“Currently, more than 6,000 people are affected by dementia in Oxfordshire alone and research is vital if we are to defeat the condition.”
To sponsor Mrs Manners and Mrs Lees-Millais on their brave fundraising trip, visit www.justgiving.com/2hot2handle-alzheimer