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Preston knife crime campaigner’s cycle challenge to raise funds for stem cell treatment for baby Bonnie

Posted on - 19th August, 2020 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Uncategorized
Bonnie-Lyn Cushnagan has Downs Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy after being born 13 weeks early

A Preston safety campaigner and fitness enthusiast is taking on a massive cycling challenge to raise funds for a little girl with Downs Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy.

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Byron Highton, who runs The JJ Effect, plans to cycle from Smart Fit in Preston to London, to raise money for Bonnie-Lyn Cushnagan, 21 months.

Bonnie was born 13 weeks early, weighing just 3.5lbs, and underwent bowel surgery when she was just three days old.

She was transferred to a specialist neonatal care unit, and stopped breathing four times in the first eight months of her life.

At nine months old Bonnie was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, which may result from the complications she had at birth – although doctors are unable to say for sure.

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Claire said: “We have had lots of ups and downs. Bonnie was only just learning to roll over at 20 months. I have been using very expensive therapy to help her but it is working, so I will continue to do so.”

However, Claire wants to raise money for her daughter to have stem cell treatment, which could improve Bonnie’s quality of life.

The treatment is in its early stages of development and is not currently available on the NHS.

Claire says: “I am fundraising for stem cell treatment which by all accounts would help Bonnie massively.”

Byron Highton has launched The JJ Effect, and anti-knife crime campaign in memory of his brother Jon-Jo

Byron, who trains at Smart Fit, Preston, and runs classes from the gym, said: “When lockdown happened I decided I wanted to take on a really big, personal challenge.

“Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t do things by halves. I had this really last minute idea about doing a bike ride and using my business The JJ Effect to help a family in need.

“We have a group of seven people taking part and people have been really generous donating bikes, tents and equipment we will need to take on the challenge.

“We still need another bike and some puncture repair kits but things are starting to take off. We’d really appreciate any help people can offer us, either by donating to the fundraiser or helping with equipment.

“I love fitness but cycling is really not my area of expertise, so to do this will be a huge challenge.”

The team will set off from Smart Fit, Preston on October 12.

To donate to the fundraiser, please visit Byron’s medical fundraiser for Bonnie.

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