Supportive brother cycles the UK for 21-year-old sister with arthritis

JPCT 130813 Edd Jones cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats for Arthritis UK after his sister Emily Jones was diagnosed 4 years ago with the disease at the age of 17.

A Horsham man has cycled the length of the country in support of his sister who was diagnosed with arthritis four years ago at the age of 17.

Edd Jones, 22, went from Land’s End to John O’Groats alongside university friend Tom Garry for the 14-day charity challenge to raise funds for Arthritis UK.

Now, sister Emily Jones, 21, who was diagnosed with the joint disorder in 2009 after having problems with her knees, has revealed how she felt ‘privileged’ that her brother chose to support her.

“When he said he was doing it I was surprised but quite pleased for what he chose to do it for,” she said.

“I was really proud of him, he did really well and we’re all really pleased for him.”

Edd, who only took up cycling in February after being inspired by the London 2012 Olympics and Tour de France, arrived back at the family home in Bens Acre on Sunday, July 21 , after setting off on Monday, July 8.

“I got a massive sense of achievement,” explained Edd. “I have first hand experience about how much my sister suffers with arthritis so helping out a charity which is quite close to our family is really good.”

Emily, who recently finished studying sport studies at Worcester University, explained that living with the condition has not only affected her movement and passion to take part in sports, but has also impacted her psychologically.

“It was really miserable at the time and really upsetting because I didn’t realise people that young could get something like that and I didn’t think it would happen to me,” she added.

“But I’m getting through it now with the support of my friends and family, but at the time it was hard.”

During the supportive challenge, Edd, a former pupil at Heron Way Primary School in Horsham who also played at Horsham Rugby Club, battled on through heatwaves and 20mph head winds in determination to reach his fundraising target.

“As I was doing it for charity I knew I had to keep going because people were counting on me to finish,” he added.

“I had a target of £500 and I almost got £900. I couldn’t believe how much money I was making. I was expecting probably £300 or £400 so to double that was absolutely incredible and something that really touched me.”

Proud sister Emily concluded:“The money that he’s raised will aid the charity to do more research into arthritis so it gives me and other people who have it more support, and they can find out more about the disease which will help our treatment.”

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