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Daughter cycles for the love of her dad

PUBLISHED: 10:46 20 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:56 25 August 2010

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VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

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A DAUGHTER is cycling over 13 Thames bridges to raise money for her father who has been diagnosed with Locked in Syndrome.

A DAUGHTER is cycling over 13 Thames bridges to raise money for her father who has been diagnosed with Locked in Syndrome.

Frank Bradley, 51, a former draughtsman suffered two strokes at the age of 39, leaving with him complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in his body except for his eyes.

His daughter Joanne Bradley, 24, from Bexleyheath, Bexley council cycling instructor, will be cycling 30 miles over 13 bridges to raise money for The Stroke Association.

She said: "I've never once heard my dad complain about what has happened to him, and his sense of humour never fails to shine through.

"He is so incredibly brave and he's a true inspiration. I'm so pleased to be cycling for him and hope to raise lots of money for him and other people who have been affected by stroke."

Mr Bradley, who now lives in a nursing home in Darenth, has since made some recovery and has some movement in his right hand, enabling him to use an electric wheelchair.

His daughter said: "We didn't see it coming. It was devastating. I was 11, my sister was six and my brother was eight. We were all pretty young. It is not easy.

"One of the hardest things was that we had no way of communicating with him. However, my mum and grandma came up with a technique, whereby dad would keep his eyes closed, we would say the letters of the alphabet and he would open his eyes when we got to the letter he wanted.

"Slowly we were able to form words, and then sentences and we were soon able to decipher what he was saying. Over the years we've become extremely quick at this as a family, enabling us to have conversations with him

"Now we lip read what he is saying. He mouths words and we are really tuned into him. He can also make some noise. Someone who didn't know him would not be able to understand."

Her father told the family: "I was extremely angry when it first happened, but then gradually I began to think - life goes on, I've got to make the best of it."

To sponsor the bike ride this Sunday, which begins at Southwark Park and goes along the towpaths of the Thames, visit www.justgiving.com/BiketheBridges

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