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Superdad gets ready to set a go-karting world record

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David, Sam, Aurelia and Thyri Cherrill
David, Sam, Aurelia and Thyri Cherrill

A dedicated dad-of-two is preparing for a world record attempt this August.

Bishops Stortford. David Cherrill will be travelling from John OGroats to Lands End by pedal go-kart. Pic: Vikki Lince
Bishops Stortford. David Cherrill will be travelling from John OGroats to Lands End by pedal go-kart. Pic: Vikki Lince

David Cherrill will travel the length of the UK – from John O’Groats to Land’s End – while riding a pedal-powered go-kart.

By doing the 950-mile journey, David is hoping to raise £5k for Shine – Spina bifida Hydrocephalus Information Networking Equality – a cause very close to his heart.

David has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Sam, for 12 years. The couple met when they attended sixth form at the Bishop’s Stortford High School and have been together for more than two decades. The pair now live in Takeley with their two daughters, six-year-old Aurelia and two-year-old Thyri.

When Aurelia was four-months-old, she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus – a build-up of cerebro-spinal fluid on the brain. This puts pressure on the brain and can damage it, but, with the right treatment, the symptoms can be relieved.

David Cherrill
David Cherrill

When Aurelia’s hydrocephalus was first detected, David turned to the web to research his tot’s condition. Most of the information he read, and the images he saw, frightened him. “Googling anything medical is never good – which is where Shine came up and put me straight,” he said.

Shine is a national, but little-known charity that provides specialist support from before birth and throughout the life of anyone living with hydrocephalus, and/or spina bifida.

Aurelia had surgery not long after her diagnosis. Doctors implanted a thin tube – a shunt – in her brain, which allows the fluid to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Since having the surgery, Aurelia has come on leaps and bounds. “In her speech and reading, she is now ahead for her age,” said David.

Aurelia now goes to Roseacres Primary School in Takeley and only has to go for hydrocephalus check-ups at Addenbrooke’s Hospital once every two years.

David has been a stout supporter of Shine for a long time.

Over the past four years, he has embarked on four 100k walks to raise money and awareness for the charity, but his challenge next month will be the first time he has ever tried to set a world record.

For his epic fundraiser, David will take three weeks annual leave from his job at Jackson Square-based insurance broker Herts Insurance Consultants, but Guinness – the keepers of the world records – have only given him 12 days to complete his challenge.

He will set off from John O’ Groats on August 6. He has worked out that he needs to pedal around 80 miles each day, but his first stretch of the journey will be one of the longest – he will go-kart 110 miles through the Scottish Highlands.

He will be towing a trailer, which contains spare parts, a spare tyre, food, water, lights, waterproof clothing and other essentials.

His wife and daughters will follow the route by car.

After months of fitness training, and living on mostly chicken and rice, David now sports a lean 11-stone frame, but he is looking forward to enjoying some high-calorie snacks such as deep-fried pizza on his long-distance challenge.

When David reaches his destination at Land’s End in Cornwall he plans to have some well-deserved rest and relaxation with Sam, Aurelia and Thyri.

He said: “I’m swinging wildly between ‘what on earth am I doing?’ and ‘this can be done in no time at all, let’s smash it.’.”

To sponsor him, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joglekart

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