Holly’s Big Cycle for Pappy - Ataxia UK

Holly’s Big Cycle for Pappy

Post Published: September 4, 2023

Holly (7) is Ataxia UK’s young friend, who, this summer holidays, will cycle 100 miles to support the Ataxia UK community. She did this incredible fundraiser for her Pappy, David. Here is what Lee (Holly’s dad) told us.

  1. Who is David (Pappy), and what is his diagnosis journey?

David, aka Ben, is Holly’s Pappy (paternal grandfather). David’s symptoms started developing when he was in his late thirties. In 2014 – following genetic testing and an MRI – he received a diagnosis of Spinocerebellar Ataxia type. Since his diagnosis, David’s symptoms have progressed, and he now requires a walker indoors and a wheelchair outdoors. He is fortunate that the Douglas Grant Rehabilitation Centre is nearby and on hand to provide support. They have worked with him to provide neurological physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, speech therapists and dietician services over the years.

  1. Who is Holly?

Holly is David’s much-adoring granddaughter. She is seven years old and loves riding her bike, having only learned to ride it at Easter this year. She enjoys visiting her Pappy and joining him on trips outdoors. She will always catch a ride with him in his wheelchair. Indoors, she quickly snuggles up and watches a film with her Pappy and loves playing games with him and stealing his chocolate.

  1. What is Holly’s fundraising purpose, and how is it going?

Holly is fundraising to help Ataxia UK raise funds for research. She hopes that the money can go towards research that will help find a cure for Ataxia and, hopefully, one day see her Pappy and others suffering from the condition cured. In her own words, she wants to “get the scientists more money to do research and find a cure.” She is also keen to raise awareness of Ataxia UK and knows not a lot of people know about the charity. She managed to get her local MP, Dr Philippa Whitford, on board; she joined Holly and her big sister on a cycle in the pouring rain and even did some promotion of their efforts on social media. To date, Holly has completed 94.07 miles toward her goal of 100 miles. She set a target of raising £100 and has already managed to raise £397.

  1. What is the importance of fundraising for Ataxia UK, and what can people do to help Holly’s fundraising journey?

In Holly’s words, “It’s important to fundraise for Ataxia UK because people who have Ataxia need help, and the charity needs important funding so they can provide some of this help.” People can help Holly’s fundraising journey by sharing her progress, talking about Ataxia and donating to Ataxia UK if they can spare any change. Holly knows that research can be expensive, and we have explained to her that the higher the

Holly Big Cycle Challenge First Cycledemands, the more funding a charity receives. Given that her beloved Pappy has a rare condition, there is not as much funding available. This is why it’s important to raise the profile of the charity, raise awareness of the condition and, where possible, do some fundraising. Holly is also world-wise beyond her years and knows that a cute wee girl doing something amazing for charity will likely make people pay attention.

  1. Do you have anything you would like to share with the Ataxia UK community, any messages, or announcements?

A message from Holly: “I hope that everyone in the Ataxia UK community and my family are proud of me. I really want to help everyone. Thank you so much. If you can spare pennies, it is going to help people like my Pappy”. She wants to thank everyone who has already donated to her JustGiving page and is very grateful due to the current cost of living crisis.

Holly’s JustGiving page: https://justgiving.com/page/hollysbigcycle2023

Daily Record‘s coverage of Holly’s fundraising efforts.

Contact details for Dr Philippa Whitford: Philippa.whitford.mp@parliament.uk

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

fundraise image


Take part in a challenge or create your fundraiser. Every penny you raise will help those affected by ataxia.

Donate Image


To make either a one off or recurring donation which will help fund research into treatments and cures and supports those affected ataxia

Volunteer Image


Support the ataxia community and volunteer with Ataxia UK. From social media to telephone befriending, there are loads of ways you can make a difference to someone's life.

Donate Now
Scroll to Top