The Farmer family are embarking on an extraordinary series of adventures with their eight-year-old son, who has a rare bone-degenerative condition. Jack has a hip disorder called Perthes disease. Blood flow to the head of the femur in its hip socket is disrupted. The bone dies and stops growing.
By email, Sai Kung residents Leanne and Richard Farmer said they are a sporting family who have enjoyed cycling holidays and Jack’s former athleticism in duathlons and Stingrays rugby before the Perthes diagnosis. “Now that all has to stop,” they wrote. “No sports now for Jack, just gentle swimming. This is devastating for us as a family who enjoyed an active sporting lifestyle.”
Jack is strong and positive, the Farmers said, so they have started a charity called “Pedal Through Perthes” (www.pedalthroughperthes.org) aiming to raise awareness and funds. On November 11 there will be a charity cycle challenge at Renaissance College with Jack taking part on his new German-made hand-cycle. Jack has been invited to join Robert Graves, a hand-cycling fund-raiser, riding to 10 Downing Street on July 28.
Then the family are going to South America to do conservation work, they say, before taking the trans-Siberian railway to Europe. They will cycle the Danube Trail with Jack doing as much as he can on his hand-cycle. Later they will visit Scotland before coming back to Sai Kung for the Renaissance College event.
If you would like to donate to the charity or otherwise support it, go to the website. See above.