A towering challenge!

Paris to Blackpool bike ride for PSP with Steven Ball with Craig and Adam
Paris to Blackpool bike ride for PSP with Steven Ball with Craig and Adam

A WIGAN estate agent is set to cycle 450 miles from Paris to Blackpool in memory of his mother.

Steven Ball, who owns Borron Shaw and Lifestyle Mortgages, in Orrell, lost his mother May to neurodegenerative disease Cortico Basal Degeneration (CBD) in 2009.

Now Steven, 48, and his two sons, Craig, 21, and Adam, 18, are taking on the challenge of riding from the Eiffel Tower to Blackpool Tower to raise funds for research into the rare disease as well as increasing awareness of it.

CBD and the related condition Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) are terminal brain conditions that progressively rob those affected of their ability to walk, talk, see and swallow.

Their causes are unknown and there is no known treatment and no cure.

Steven, of Middlecot Close, said: “When mum was being nursed in Wigan and Leigh Hospice I saw a poster asking for bike riders to ride to Blackpool to raise money for the hospice. The whole thing just went from there and now we’ve ended up doing this.

“We know it will be a hard slog, but we have been training since February and it will be a sense of pride to ride in memory of mum, especially with my two sons.

“My father, John, will also be helping out as he is following us as our safety car. My mum lived with CBD for seven years and fought to maintain her quality of life throughout that time with amazing dignity.

“The PSP Association provides help and support for those living with PSP and CBD, while funding research into finding a cure, and this of course spurs us on to try to raise money for the cause.”

The charity estimates that around 4,000 people suffer from PSP and CBD in the UK every year and it funds research into finding out more about the conditions – and looking for a possible cure. CBD usually starts on one side of the body first, for example, the loss of use of one hand, before eventually spreading to the other side.

CBD mainly affects people in their 60s and 70s and symptom management has much in common with that recommended for PSP.

Steven added: “We will be doing the last leg of the journey from Wigan on June 2, setting off from The Stag Inn at Orrell at 10.30am.

“We have a few people joining us, but if anybody would like to join in, please get in touch. We’d also like to thank everybody who has helped us raise funds and awareness of PSP and CBD.”

For more information or advice about PSP and CBD contact the PSP Association on 01327 356140, go online at www.pspeur.org or email psp@pspeur.org

If you would like to know more about Steven and his sons’ trip you find out about it at and donate to the charity by visiting www.justgiving.com/paris-to-blackpool