An Olympic cycling champion has shown her support for a Lynn man’s charity bike ride in memory of his best friend who died from an asthma attack.
Laura Trott, who won two gold medals in the London 2012 Olympics, will also be taking part in the 100-mile RideLondon event on Sunday alongside Lynn computer programmer Mark Germany.
The 41-year-old father-of-two will be taking on the challenge to raise money for Asthma UK in memory of his best friend who died 20 years ago.
Mark, who hopes to raise around £650 for the cause, said: “I first met Marcus on the second day of high school and we clicked instantly, soon becoming great friends.
“We were completely inseparable, spending every day together and always hanging out in each other’s houses. We even ended up working together.
“Marcus had severe asthma from when I first knew him. One of the first things I noticed about him was the fact that he kept his inhalers close by and needed to use them quite a lot. It wasn’t uncommon for me to see him using a nebuliser too (he had to keep one in his home).
“I remember the last day I spent with him. We decided to take off one Friday together as leave and had a really nice day. The following Monday was the day he had the fatal asthma attack. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.”
Mark added: “I will be cycling in memory of a fantastic friend who I miss a great deal.”
He also said he wants to help Asthma UK find a cure for asthma, which kills around three people a day in the UK.
Laura Trott OBE, who won gold medals in the team pursuit and omnium disciplines at London 2012, is an asthma sufferer herself.
She said: “I would like to wish Mark and everyone taking part in Ride London 100 on behalf of Asthma UK an absolutely fantastic day. I am delighted to be taking part in it myself.
“As long as you seek advice from your GP and your asthma is well managed having asthma does not have to hold you back from taking part in a sport you love. In fact, exercise can actually improve your lung function and help you to control your asthma symptoms – my asthma actually spurred me on rather than ever hindered me.”
Dr Samantha Walker, deputy chief executive at Asthma UK, added: “It’s thanks to the fantastic support of people like Mark that Asthma UK is able to fund world-leading research and ultimately a cure for asthma.
“Every 10 seconds someone is having a potentially life-threatening asthma attack and Marcus’ tragic death highlights how crucial it is that we invest in developing treatments and advice to reduce the number of people dying from them.”
Anyone wanting to sponsor Mark’s RideLondon challenge can visit his fundraising web page at: www.virginmoneygiving.com/MarkGermany