Northern Ireland

From Bushmills to Brighton: Co Antrim doctor to cycle 600 miles to mark tenth anniversary of MS symptoms

Dr Jonathan White sets off from his hometown today to raise funds for the charity, Overcoming MS

Dr Jonny White
The cycle will mark Dr White's 40th birthday and the tenth anniversary since he first began experiencing symptoms of MS

A Co Antrim doctor is to embark on a 600-mile cycle to mark the tenth anniversary of first experiencing symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

From Bushmills to Brighton, the fundraising challenge will today see Dr Jonathan White set off from his hometown to cycle to the English seaside town, where he hopes to arrive by May 18.

Also using the cycling challenge to celebrate his 40th birthday, Dr White said he wanted to mark his battle with MS and raise funds to support the charity, Overcoming MS, that he says has redefined his life with the condition.

Dr Jonny White is to embark on a 600-mile cycle from Bushmills to Brighton
Dr White will begin his 600-mile cycle from Bushmills on May 9

He said his challenge is not just a personal milestone, but a “beacon of hope and possibility” for the 130,000 people living with MS in the UK.

“I want to prove to myself and our community that a completely average 40-year-old, living with MS for the best part of a decade, can challenge himself physically and mentally, and achieve something just a little bit special,” he said.

He added: “It’s hard to put into words what Overcoming MS means to me.

“In the darkest of times, it was a beacon of real hope and the path for me to follow, giving me the very best odds of living a full and healthy life with MS.

“I haven’t looked back since.”

Dr White’s journey will culminate in the delivery of a bottle of Bushmills whiskey to Overcoming MS president and founder, Linda Bloom, at the Brighton and Hove Albion stadium.

Ms Bloom, who also has MS, is married to the owner of Brighton and Hove Albion football club, Tony Bloom, and Dr White is also an ardent Seagulls fan.

Ms Bloom said: “This is such a meaningful challenge for Jonny to undertake.

“It will shine a positive light on living with MS, giving hope and optimism to people with MS and their families, seeing what is possible after an MS diagnosis.

“I wish Jonny all the very best as he embarks on this awe-inspiring journey.”

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