A mum who was to take on a gruelling 300 mile bike ride for her sick daughter has had her plans scuppered by thieves.
Clarissa Hoyle’s daughter Lilly-Mae was born with a rare genetic condition called Prada Willi Syndrome which means she has muscle weakness and restricted growth.
In a bid to raise £10,000 to fund care and research into the condition, which affects just 2,000 people in the country, the mum-of five planned a bike ride from London to Paris on a top-of-range £700 mountain bike.
But the bike was stolen from outside her home in Buckshaw Village - casting doubt over the entire trip, which she has already raised £6,000 for.
Clarissa, 29, who is mum to 16-week-old Lilly-Mae, Abe, eight, Jesiah, six, Eli, five and Eva, three, said: “I could have cried when I found out it had been taken. I only bought it four weeks ago.
“Me and my sister Naomi planned the trip and have been training really hard. She is a full time teacher with six children and I also work part time so we’re very busy mums as it is. It’s a big sacrifice but we’re doing it because we want to raise as much money as we can, and to have this happen feels like a real kick in the teeth.”
Lilly-Mae spent four weeks in hospital after being born at Royal Preston Hospital in February.
Clarissa, of Sunningdale Drive, said: “I had no idea when I was pregnant with Lilly that there was anything different. Then, about three hours after she was born, the nurses said she wasn’t very well.
“She didn’t cry and they took her straight over to an incubator. She was in intensive care for a week and then in neo-natal for three weeks.”
Lilly-Mae was later diagnosed with Prada Willi which causes her to be ‘floppy’ because of muscle weakness and she can’t lift her head.
Proud mum Clarissa, who runs an energy conservation business in Chorley with husband Joseph, says she will do all she can to raise money for the Prada Willi Syndrome Association.
She said: “Lilly is so cute and has a really sweet way about her. We are determined to still go ahead with the trip.
“The bike I had was a really good road bike and I do have another one but it’s just not as good, and not what I really need for this.
“It was only about 6.30pm when I left my bike outside for a few minutes so I thought it would be ok.
“When I went back it had gone. My neighbours were sat in their gardens at the time and they said they had seen someone come in my garden but because he was so confident and brazen they assumed he was a friend of ours. He was obviously a very cheeky man.”
To sponsor Clarissa on her trip, which will take place on August 1, visit www.justgiving.com/lilly-mae