Severe epilepsy couldn't stop this Markyate woman from completing a 50 mile bike ride to raise hundreds for charity

Dionne was in the Epilepsy Society's top 20 per cent of fundraisers for February

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 3:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 3:37 pm

A woman from Markyate, who lives with severe epilepsy, has raised £700 for the Epilepsy Society by completing a 50 mile bike ride over 28 days.

Dionne Tilcock has had severe uncontrollable epilepsy for many years and has had a Vagus Nerve Stimulator fitted in her chest to try to help combat her epilepsy in conjunction with medication as her attacks are so severe and frequent.

After seeing an appeal for fundraising for the Epilepsy Society, the 59-year-old decided to do a 50-mile bike ride over 28 days in February on her exercise bike.

Dionne was in the charity's top 20 per cent of fundraisers for February

The charity's mission is to enhance the quality of life of people affected by epilepsy by promoting public awareness and education, by undertaking research and by delivering specialist medical care and support services.

Dionne said: "I live with uncontrollable epilepsy every day, but I wanted to do something to support this charity.

"February was a month of fundraising for the Epilepsy Society and I wanted to do my bit to help.

"I have wanted to do something to raise money before but it can be very difficult for me, sometimes I cannot get out of bed.

Dionne completed a 50 mile bike ride over 28 days in February on her exercise bike

"We had to do a challenge that could be done in the garden or in the house, I fall quite a bit and I didn't want to hurt myself doing it."

On days when she had a bad attack, her husband Clive - who is also her full time carer - wore her lanyard and took over for her.

Dionne added: "It was quite nice actually that Clive, and my family said they would step in and do some of the challenge for me if I needed help.

"This is the first time I've ever done anything like this, and it was good fun. I tried to do two miles every day, it was hard.

"It was lovely to be able to help raise money for the charity but I won't be doing it again, it was very challenging.

"People were so kind with their donations, I was only hoping to raise £100, so to reach £700 is amazing.

"My friends and family sponsored me, and my neurologist made a donation, and we even had people I don't even know sponsor me. I was really shocked by the amount raised.

"I received a message from the charity to say I was one of their top fundraisers in February, I was chuffed about that."

Clive said: "She has suffered from epilepsy all her life, but over the last five years it has got worse.

"She has tablets, which do help, but the blackouts and falls can be bad sometimes.

"We had to do the challenge near the sofa, with all the right equipment, so that she didn't hurt herself if she fell."

Dionne raised £700 for the Epilepsy Society, and was in their top 20 per cent of fundraisers for February.

She had to overcome obstacles affecting her safety, so she had to wear a protective suit and helmet in case of a seizure during the exercising and had to place her bike next to the settee and a mattress so she had a safe landing.

Dacorum Borough Council supported housing lead officer Elizabeth Budd: “The courage, motivation and bravery demonstrated by Mrs Tilcock is honourable and it is amazing to hear that someone has remained so positive and managed to prioritise helping others, especially throughout the last year.

"As a Supported Housing service, we are proud to have someone so courageous living within our accommodation. A huge congratulations to Mrs (and Mr!) Tilcock.”