Dad to raise awareness of disease affecting son with cycle challenge

Horsham dad Steve Foster
Horsham dad Steve Foster

A Horsham dad is getting ready to cover more than 600 miles this summer to raise awareness of the fatal disease which affects his son, Austin.

Two-year-old Austin Foster was diagnosed with the life limiting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in November last year.

Now, his dad Steve, 41, is doing his bit by taking part in four cycle challenges this year for Harrison’s Fund.

Harrison’s Fund is named after the nine-year-old from Surrey who was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a fatal genetic condition which affects all the muscles in the body, causing them to waste away.

Harrison’s Fund’s goal is to get as much money as possible into the hands of the world’s best researchers, who are working to find a cure for Duchenne which affects thousands of boys across the UK.

Steve said: “Although Austin is to all intents a regular lively two-year-old now, this condition will gradually affect him more and more.

“Having always considered myself to be not particularly sporty, I recently discovered that I have a flair for cycling. With the situation with Austin, I felt a strong urge to throw himself into something and as a result has been applying myself to cycling. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a disease where scientists around the world are on the brink of life changing breakthroughs. It is all about raising money to enable the research to be supported. It is literally a case where every single cent could help to cure these boys.

“I am putting myself well and truly out of my comfort zone and have signed up for ‘4 rides 4 Austin’ during 2016.”

Steve is cycling from London to Paris in May, 115 miles as part of the King of the Downs event in the South East in June, the 90 mile Etape du Tour in July and ending his challenges with the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 in July.

The charity is still looking for people to take part and be part of Harrison’s team.

Alex Smith, founder of Harrison’s Fund and dad of Harrison said: “It is devastating for any parent to hear the news that your child has Duchenne as you feel so helpless as it is out of your control. Many of our supporters like Steve, put that passion and drive into something positive and raise money so we can continue our work. For that, we will always be grateful and hope one day we will achieve that life-transforming break through.

“The deadline to enter isn’t until the end of May, so if you are interested in joining the rest of our team we’d love to hear from you.”

To support Steve visit