An energetic father is taking to his bike for a gruelling 100-mile ride to raise money for two muscular dystrophy charities - after his son was diagnosed with the wasting condition.

Burton Rugby Club treasurer Martyn Evans, of Fradley who has already helped raise £26,000, will embark on the marathon bike ride on Sunday, September 24, travelling through the likes of Wolverhampton, Stourbridge and Kidderminster.

The cycle marathon will see all donations go to the Neuro Muscular Centre in Coventry and a muscular dystrophy charity in Alrewas and Fradley.

The route is called the Velo, and will see 15,000 cyclists line up in the centre of Birmingham to set off on a 100 mile route through Worcestershire and Staffordshire.

Mr Evans, 61, is no stranger to challenges. Three years ago he and his wife, Christine, along with two friends, Kevin Wrathall and Andy Peach, undertook a 170 mile bike ride called 'The Way of the Roses', a coast-to-coast cycling trip from Morecambe to Bridlington, passing through Lancaster and the Yorkshire Dales.

The Velo route
The Velo route

Four years ago, his son, Gary, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, a devastating condition that gradually causes the muscles to weaken, leading to an increasing level of disability.

Gary, 36, went from living a "completely healthy" life in his first-floor flat in Derby Road, Burton, to having to move to a bungalow nearby his parents' house as he wasn't able to climb the stairs.

His dad, Martyn, said: "It's massively impacted his life. It has been life changing for the whole family. We're known as very positive people – it is what it is and we have to get on with it.

Martyn with friends on the Way of the Roses route
Martyn with friends on the Way of the Roses route

"But when he lived in his first floor flat, all of a sudden you realise everything isn't accessible. In the kitchen, he can't bend down to his oven. He can only use the very top. He can't reach up to his cabinets or his lower cabinets. You start to see things in a different way."

Mr Evans, who is a member and treasurer at Burton Rugby Club, said he was nervous but determined to complete the daunting bike ride in a tribute to his son.

The Evans family have so far raised more than a staggering £26,000 for muscular dystrophy UK, a charity which researches effective treatments and cures for the muscle-wasting condition.

Martyn with friends on the Way of the Roses route
Martyn with friends on the Way of the Roses route

Martyn said he had chosen to donate to local charities as they helped transform Gary's bungalow into an accessible living space when he first moved in.

He said: "The NHS is great for when you break an arm or a leg, you just go and get it fixed right away. But for people like Gary who have life-changing and incurable conditions, the NHS can't cope and you have to rely on charities.

"We're constantly looking for accessibility now. We're looking out for whether Gary can get into that apartment or how he would get into a restaurant. Flights are particularly difficult.

"One of the best pieces of equipment we bought is a riser chair. When we go out it's like a booster seat that is hydraulically compressed with air when he sits down. When he tries to get up, it gives him a lift.

Martyn and his wife Christine have raised more than £26,000 for muscular dystrophy charities
Martyn and his wife Christine have raised more than £26,000 for muscular dystrophy charities

"The thing about Muscle Dystrophy is that it's so sudden. The lives these people had before are no longer. We're pleased that we're doing something but there's still so much to do.

"We need to find a cure for this horrible thing that affects people so massively. In this moment in time, we don't know what that is."

Those looking to support Martyn by donating to his cause can do so by contacting

What causes muscular dystrophy?

According to the NHS, muscle dystrophy is caused by changes, or mutations, in the genes responsible for the structure and functioning of a person's muscles.

The mutations cause changes in the muscle fibres that interfere with the muscles' ability to function. Over time, this causes increasing disability.

Looking for a job? There are thousands available at