Long-distance pal set to cycle Scotland for Fife youngster

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A former Glenrothes resident is about to go the extra mile – in fact 500 extra miles – to raise funds to help his best friend’s disabled daughter.

Ross Tallo (41) grew up in Pitteuchar and while he now lives and works in York, he has retained close ties with the town and the pals he grew up with.

And next week, alongside his work colleague Ady Atkinson (31), Ross will be setting out from Inverness on a gruelling five-day, 532-mile round trip charity bike ride of the Scottish highlands.

The aim of the pair is to raise £3000 to help his childhood friends Mark and Karen Lessells and their daughter Jessica.

Jessica was born with a rare brain condition, Dysgenesis of the Corpus Callosum, where the central part of her brain hasn’t formed correctly. This seriously affects her learning and development as well as causing her major mobility issues.

Jessica needs an operation which involves cutting nerves in her spinal cord to allow her to continue to stand and walk. However the operation is not available on the NHS, and will have to be done privately.

The Jessica’s Wishes charity was set up to raise money for the operation as well as equipment and physiotherapy she will need following surgery.

“Despite the distance I’ve remained best pals with Mark and really wanted to do something to help their cause,” Ross explained.

“I read about the highland route and as an avid cyclist it looks fun and will give people a reason to donate.”

The 532 mile round highland coastal route passes through Wick, John of Groats, Ullapool and Applecross, which will test the pair’s stamina and determination.

Anyone wishing to donate to the worthy cause can do so online via the charity page, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ARRSfoJ