A father of two discovered a passion for cycling after receiving a heart transplant from an avid rider, despite never having ridden before.
Kevin Mashford, 38, from Backwell, Somerset, was given the heart of a man named John, who died in a collision with a car last May.
The Daily Mail reports that Mr Mashford asked physiotherapists to bring an exercise bike to his hospital room just seven days after the operation and has continued his new hobby since leaving.
“Before my transplant I had never really cycled,” Mr Mashford told the Mail.
“But when I found out that my donor had died in a cycling accident I was determined to do it in his memory.
“I have "RIP John" written in my cycling helmet so he's with me whenever I'm on the bike.
“I only know his first name, John, and when I'm tired I ask him for a bit extra and it spurs me on.”
Having found out about his donor’s hobbies, Mr Mashford rode a 30-mile charity ride in his memory just 19 weeks after his operation and is embarking on a four-day ride to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle to raise more funds.
“Thanks to him signing on the organ donor list I have a new life, a really active life, and there is a new life on the way as my wife is pregnant,” he added.
“I have a sense of responsibility to my donor and his family and I'm never going to waste it. It's always going to be used positively.”
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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
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