road.cc regular and early-onset Parkinson's sufferer appeals for help with the switch to three wheels

"It's changing my life in ways I could never have imagined," says Keith McRae of appeal to help him fund a recumbent trike

by Dave Atkinson   December 7, 2012  

Keith McRae

Can you help a fellow cyclist out? Keith McRae is just 28 years old but he's been diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's disease. A long-term sufferer from depression, Keith's only escape is cycling, but the new diagnosis means that he'll have to switch from two wheels to three. Without the funds to set himself up with a recumbent trike he's turned to the cycling community for help, and the good news is he's already nearly half way there.

We don't know him as Keith round these parts, but as Gkam84; he's been a regular contributor on road.cc for a couple of years, racking up a post count in excess of even some of the people that work here full time; he's active on other cycling forums too. And it's thanks in no small part to the generosity of the forum-goers on this site that his trike fund has got this far. But it needs a boost, so Keith has also been approaching cycling teams and companies to donate prizes that he can auction or raffle to keep the money trickling in. So far he's already received items from Philippe Gilbert, Yanto Barker, Richard Mitchelson and a host of professional teams.

"My only passion in life is cycling," Keith says on his GoFundMe page. "I can escape everything while out on my bike. This has become almost impossible lately though, because my balance has become affected. I have tried asking friends, family, charities and companies for help with the expense of a new bike so that I am at least able to keep enjoying the one thing that gets me through all the bad times. I’ve even sold off my bikes I did have, without coming near the price of a recumbent." But the cycling community is rallying round to help get him back on two wheels. Well, three.

"I found it very hard to finally publish my GoFundMe page, not knowing how it would go down with people in this age of austerity when people are watching the pennies more than ever," Keith told us. "But it seems to have struck a chord with many and after it was posted by a user on road.cc, it took off from there. I have been truly amazed by the response I've had from everyone in the cycling community and some who don't even have a connection with cycling at all."

The response to the requests for auction items has been really good too. "Over the last two weeks, I've had more than 200 mentions, replies and retweets on Twitter, to add to 53 emails from various companies, teams and riders who have responded to my tweets, either asking how they could help or giving me information of those who could help. Having contacted many pro teams and riders through email and twitter, their response has been awesome, many items are promised and in the post to me, to auction/raffle off to raise even more funds towards my target." The auction isn't live yet, and won't be until Keith has all the stuff he's been promised and decides exactly what to do with it, but when it does go live we'll let you know on here.

More important even than the money, though, is the change it's made in Keith himself. "Every email or tweet I get raises my spirits even more," he told us. It has given me so much confidence that I have ventured out on my own, just a walk around the block, but two weeks ago, I would never have done that. So not only I am raising money to get myself a recumbent trike, but I am drawing on all the positives that this campaign has had. Its changing my life in ways I could never have imagined."

If you can help Keith out at all, head over to his GoFundMe page - every little helps. And we'll post details of the raffle when we have them.

30 user comments

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Always good to put a face to a name good luck fella.

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [460 posts]
7th December 2012 - 13:18

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Thanks, I may just have to furnish Dave with a better photo though...... Devil

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
7th December 2012 - 13:32

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Nice to see a story on this. Hope we can get you on your bike in the new year Keith.

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posted by alotronic [262 posts]
7th December 2012 - 14:10

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Good luck Keith

posted by Sam1 [218 posts]
7th December 2012 - 15:24

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Nice idea, not trying to be rude or disrespectful but why does he need almost £4000 for a recumbent?????

posted by dans [13 posts]
7th December 2012 - 16:37

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Good luck, sure you'll have that trike in no time.

posted by MattT53 [126 posts]
7th December 2012 - 16:44

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dans wrote:
Nice idea, not trying to be rude or disrespectful but why does he need almost £4000 for a recumbent?????

Hi, I had the target set at £2500, after working out that ICE, the company who build the trike best suited to my needs, I raised it to £3500, sold off my bikes and parts £495, added my own savings £350, Just waiting for a backdated payment from the benefits centre that will be adding another £200

So thats £1045 that I'd put in myself so far.

Onto the price of a trike (from new).

1, it needs to be folding so that I can use it without help to load and unload it from storage. Because of weakness in my left side.
2, Because of the weakness, bar end shifters are the best option for long term use, as I may not be able to use grip shifts in time to come.

So taking those two things into account. The base price for the trike is going to be £3,022.91

With the target being £3500, that is almost met once you take off the fee's for using GoFundMe and Paypal.

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
7th December 2012 - 17:30

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Just to add, if after donation's and auction/raffle. I go over my target, a little will be used to fit mudguards and a head rest. Anything still left over after that, Will be donated to charity.

That will be put out to all donors if the situation arises and then will be decided on which charity should benefit.

I am not trying to make any money for myself and will not be spending any of the money on anything bar getting me back cycling.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask and I'll answer them for you, email, twitter or here.

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
7th December 2012 - 17:44

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Yep, good to have a face to the name Gkam, hope it all works out.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2195 posts]
7th December 2012 - 18:59

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More pictures to put a face to the name that aren't so covered up Wink

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A8Po-dCCEAIpsSP.jpg

Pre Shave
http://bit.ly/TJSl71

Post Shave
http://bit.ly/XzfJqw

The shave pictures aren't that new, but I haven't change any, apart from having the beard back Devil

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
7th December 2012 - 19:10

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You can have some better ones done when you get your bike i'm sure Dave won't mind sending up a photographer.

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posted by cidermart [460 posts]
7th December 2012 - 20:04

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Best of luck Keith.

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posted by Martin Thomas [567 posts]
7th December 2012 - 20:46

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Just a thought, have you tried the Tandem Club? they have an official who handles disability issues who may be able to put you into contact with someone with a tandem who could help, just google tandemclubuk and take it from there, me and wor lass have been TC members for 30yrs they are a friendly and helpful club.

onward ever onward

bikecellar's picture

posted by bikecellar [224 posts]
7th December 2012 - 21:02

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bikecellar wrote:
Just a thought, have you tried the Tandem Club? they have an official who handles disability issues who may be able to put you into contact with someone with a tandem who could help, just google tandemclubuk and take it from there, me and wor lass have been TC members for 30yrs they are a friendly and helpful club.

Thanks for the reply, a couple of things. The reason I've had to go recumbent is because of the position, cycling upright, even on an upright trike, my leg would still be shaking all over the place and it slowly became impossible to cycling that way.

The other thing, a Tandem would still require having someone else around every time I wanted to go out cycling. Sometimes daily, some times more that once daily.....It wouldn't quite work Plain Face

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
7th December 2012 - 21:20

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OK understood good luck Marra

onward ever onward

bikecellar's picture

posted by bikecellar [224 posts]
7th December 2012 - 21:41

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Great progress Keith. Also loving the idea that this is making you feel more positive generally. Smile

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3114 posts]
7th December 2012 - 22:42

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notfastenough wrote:
Great progress Keith. Also loving the idea that this is making you feel more positive generally. Smile

Today has been MENTAL, I'm actually knackered with emotions, since Dave put this story up. I've had 40 donation's. While every donation is amazing and I blown away every time an email comes though.

Some have reduced me to a wee cry, now I'm not trying to get anyone to donate more than they can afford, 5 donation's have been £40 or above today, with one guy donating £100 and another giving £250.......#holysh*t was my reaction, followed by emotions which made my cry like a baby for a couple of minutes and then was a bit hyper. I just didn't know what to say. I also don't know if he's on the site or whatever. But will be getting an email from me, thats for sure. Surprise Surprise Surprise

Also Garmin have just requested my address to post something.

One other thing lined up that might not come off, but thats top secret and more amazing for me than anything I could have dreamt of.

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
7th December 2012 - 23:08

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Just broken the 70% mark.......WOW, Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would get here so fast. I thought it might take months to get half way. Surprise

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
8th December 2012 - 0:36

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Gkam84 wrote:
Just broken the 70% mark.......WOW, Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would get here so fast. I thought it might take months to get half way. Surprise

The power of the internet... At least it's not all bad!! Big Grin

posted by mr_leemur [24 posts]
8th December 2012 - 0:53

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Good luck. Those ICE bikes look nice. All that advertising they are getting must be worth something surely Smile Does your disabilty allow you to claim anything ref. mode of transport?

Every day and in every way I'm getting slower and slower

posted by Edglass [68 posts]
8th December 2012 - 8:20

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Cheers Edglass, I wish I got something for all the advertising. I don't qualify for any help after applying for various things through the benefits department.... But thats DWP for you. I live on £71 a week while the PM and his lot can claim £39 breakfasts each on expenses Surprise

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
8th December 2012 - 9:03

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You had me on "only escape is cycling".

www.vulpine.cc
@aslongasicycle
@vulpinecc

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posted by aslongasicycle [301 posts]
8th December 2012 - 10:47

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I've run out of amazing's, astounded's and all other superlatives to describe the support that has been shown to me.

This story went live a little under 24 hours ago and has since put 50 donations my way and send me very close to 75% of my goal. Surprise

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
8th December 2012 - 11:23

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Holy mother of the lord Jesus....Thats just me being polite because I could be swearing all over, I'm that enfused with happiness, love, confidence and so much more that some of you will never know.

Just hit 79.37% of the goal. Only just over 20% left and still waiting for all the donation items.

Please keep sharing the link, shouting out on twitter or whatever you guys are doing, the support has been overwhelming so far this weekend.

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
8th December 2012 - 21:42

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without looking into ice trikes would you be buying direct from them or via a shop. bearing in mind if thats the case and as you stated previously ice wont give you a discount. maybe a shop would do a trade+vat + 10% deal for you. put it this way if i had a bike shop i would.

if so then you are there already, bit of left field thinking maybe?

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
8th December 2012 - 22:51

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Russy, thats not as left field as it sounds. That's sort of the TOP SECRET thing I mentioned above, that might or might not come off.

But I also had another email to just confuse me totally, so there are feelers out. Just need some advice if anyone wants to help and knows about buying things at trade......email me Wink

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
9th December 2012 - 8:38

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
11th December 2012 - 19:44

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GET IN! Result. I'll start using JEJames just for this.

Right Keith, I hope you realise we're looking for a write-up and pics when you get it! Big Grin

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3114 posts]
12th December 2012 - 1:06

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Don't worry, there will be picture's, video's, write up and also a blog via here coming soon Wink

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
12th December 2012 - 1:34

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Fantastic news and as "Notfastenough" says JEJames can expect some buisness. Smile

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posted by cidermart [460 posts]
12th December 2012 - 12:56

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