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Brave cyclists take on icy challenge in support of Alopecia charity


Icemen alopecia awareness The belgravia CentreCharity events in support of Alopecia and other forms of hair loss are far from unusual. In the past we’ve had shaved heads, skydives, pink car rallies and all manner of other great events in the name of a good cause. But later this year, a four-strong team consisting of three men and one woman are planning to do something a little more extreme, in support of Alopecia charity BeBold.

Known as the Icemen Project 2011, the plan is to circumnavigate Iceland by bike in 14 days.  The trip will cover roughly 1600 miles, and will take in untamed wilderness and icy peaks, with a climb to the top of the country’s tallest mountain thrown in for good measure.

One of the riders, Pete Sissons, an accounts manager from Wearside, explained to the Sunderland Echo the motives behind the adventure, and his own personal reasons for taking part: “The aim is to help BeBold, so the challenge is secondary really,” he said. “My wife has Alopecia so I know how hard it is for an adult to deal with, so it must be particularly hard for kids. We would love to be able to fund the summer camp for the next two years.”

Supporting Alopecia sufferers

Securing the future of the Alopecia camp is chief amongst the team’s mission goals as well as providing additional financial help to support the work that BeBold does in helping people with Alopecia.

BeBold’s Alopecia Awareness weekend took place for the first time last year and is planned to go ahead again at the end of this coming July. The camp, taking place at Scarborough’s Wild West Pinewood Holiday Park, is a place where young Alopecia sufferers and their parents can meet others who have the condition, and take part in a range of outdoor activities designed to boost their confidence.

“A Hard Trip”

The Icemen team appear confident in their abilities to complete the substantial challenge which awaits them when they touchdown in Iceland on August 12th, but are aware of the difficulties they may face.

“We will be riding between 130 and 160 miles a day, dealing with flat terrain, lots of hills, terrible roads, river crossings, sand flies, volcanic ash … We are all generally fit but we have all had to raise our game. We are under no illusion, it’s going to be a hard trip,” commented Mr. Sissons.

About Alopecia

Alopecia is a hair loss condition which is caused by a dysfunction of the immune system in which the body’s natural defences attack healthy hair follicles, resulting in shedding and a halt in the production of new hair. In the case of Alopecia Areata, hair loss is patchy, resulting in bald spots. With this type of Alopecia, treatment and hair re-growth is possible. If it progresses to Alopecia Totalis, in which all hair is lost from the scalp, or Alopecia Universalis, which results in total loss of body hair, then the condition is difficult to treat but hair can regrow on its own at any time. Alopecia affects both men and women, and can occasionally affect children too

To find out more about the Icemen Project and how you can donate in support of BeBold, visit http://www.icemen.bebold.org.uk

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