A MAN from Barry has overcome his own health issues to take on a cycling challenge.
Anthony Claypole was diagnosed with myocarditis – inflammation of the heart – in November 2019. The 39-year-old started making healthier life choices to improve his physical and mental health, improving his diet and, in February, buying a bike. He now cycles regularly.
The father-of-five said: “I feel fantastic, the changes to my lifestyle have really helped.
“I recently visited my GP who said I’d lost lots of weight [around four stone] since Christmas. My GP said to keep doing what I’m doing because it’s working. It helps mentally too – if anyone is struggling with mental health they should get on a bike or go for a walk.”
Mr Claypole is now preparing to cycle 100 miles from Barry to Tenby, raising money for National Autistic Society which has helped him with his autistic son Archie and autistic non-verbal nephew Leo.
He recently cycled 70 miles but wanted his first 100 miles to be special; he chose Tenby as he usually visits once a year, and Ted Graphics have sponsored him.
“I considered doing the challenge for mental health, but I chose to support National Autistic Society for Archie and Leo,” said Mr Claypole.
“I want to raise money and awareness of the work National Autistic Society does with children and families. We’ve had so much help and support from them – as has my sister – and I wanted to give something back.”
Mr Claypole will complete this challenge on June 6 and he has already raised more than 90 per cent of his fundraising target (£1,000).
“The donations are amazing – I know a lot of people are struggling financially due to the pandemic so I didn’t expect this,” said Mr Claypole.
“I believe I can do the challenge, but I will have to push myself. The kids will be on my mind throughout it – I won’t fail because I’m doing it in their names.”
For more information about National Autistic Society visit their website.