A GMP officer has cycled 1300 miles over 22 days to raise funds for a colleague’s house adaptations after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Detective Sergeant Paul Rees from the Serious Crime Co-ordination Unit has worked with Chris Bibby for just under two years. During that time Mr Bibby has been diagnosed with rapidly evolving multiple sclerosis, functional neurological disorder and non-epileptic attack disorder, meaning he now has to use a wheelchair.
Slipping into depression shortly after his diagnosis Chris, who is originally from Wigan but now lives in Whitefield, has been supported by the Force as a whole but has found particular strength from friend and colleague DS Rees, leading him to take part in many sporting events himself.
Chris, 38, started his life in GMP as a PC in Salford from 2001 to 2006, before becoming an Investigation Support Officer in 2012.
Now, DS Rees has taken up the exercise challenge himself, pedalling 60 miles a day to work and back for 22 days to raise money for Chris to convert his garage and lower his bedroom windows so that he can continue to enjoy the views his home affords.
So far, DS Rees has cycled from Northwich to Nexus House every day which is a 60 mile round trip totalling 1300 miles, the equivalent of cycling from Cheshire to Rome.
The money raised will go towards the conversion of Chris’s garage so he will have an accessible bedroom and wet room and the lowering of his windows.
Chris Bibby said: “After my diagnosis I slipped into a state of depression and I don’t have any issues talking about it or the effect that it has had on me as a person.
“In fact I would love nothing more than to be able to help others who are suffering from the same thing – I will never be cured of it but I personally feel that talking with each other will be more therapeutic at any stage of a diagnosis.
“I was supported greatly by many colleagues including a fantastic visit from the Chief Constable at the time, Sir Peter Fahy. I have to say having tea and biscuits, chatting in my living room with Sir Peter really helped raise my mood and gave me more drive to get back to work.”
Since starting his challenge on the 1st September DS Rees has raised £2000, meaning he needs just £1000 more to achieve his goal before Friday 30th September.
Detective Sergeant Paul Rees said: “To incorporate work and my enjoyment of bike riding I decided to cycle to and from work.
“Riding four hours every day as well as a day’s work makes people appreciate the level of commitment and I really hope this will encourage people to dig deep and sponsor me. Even when it is absolutely pouring down with rain, like on day nine when I rode home in the floods I haven’t stopped, and it’s all because of Chris.
“He is one of the most positive people I have met and is an inspiration to people because of the way he copes with his illness. This is the least that I can do to help him.”
If you would like to donate to help Chris please visit http://www.itsonly2letters.com