Siôn Meirion, 10, training for his 115 mile journey. Credit: Sara Jones.

A 10-year-old boy is cycling 115 miles to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis charity

Siôn Meirion was inspired by a baby cousin who died years before Siôn was born

YOUNG Siôn Meirion is cycling from Aberystwyth to Cardiff in memory of a cousin he never met who died from cystic fibrosis at just four months old.

Siôn, aged 10, plans to cycle 115 miles to raise funds for the charity Cystic Fibrosis Trust after the death of his cousin Joshua 25 years ago. He has already raised £795.

“Siôn wanted a challenge to show how committed he is to honouring the memory of Joshua. Raising money for Cystic Fibrosis Trust is meaningful to him and it is a charity close to our family’s hearts,” said his mum, Sara Jones.

The journey will take five days and Siôn will complete it alongside his mum and his 16-year-old brother Celyn, who will be his support team.

“Siôn has been training by going on long walks with me. But when it comes to it, it will be him, the hills and his willpower,” said Ms Jones.

“It may seem impossible at the moment but he can really only propel himself forward. I know he can do it.”

As well as raising money, Siôn wants to show his commitment to his family and “disprove people who underestimate children”.

“With Covid, lots of young people were stuck indoors and got into unhealthy screen habits. So many grew up before their time,” said Ms Jones.

“Siôn is proving that kids can do anything they put their minds to. He said he will do it no matter the weather.”

Siôn Meirion, 10, and his brother Celyn training for the first leg of their 115 mile journey. Credit: Sara Jones.

His challenge will take place in May half-term, starting in Aberystwyth before travelling to Tregaron. Siôn will then take on the Devils’ Staircase, a notoriously steep hill with a 20% gradient, on his way to Abergwesyn.

On day three, Sion will cycle 28 miles to Brecon before travelling to his last stop-off at Merthyr Tydfil. His final leg of the journey will end in Cardiff, where the Hilton Hotel has provided him with a free breakfast.

Other businesses along Siôn’s journey are also lending him support. His local bike shop, Summit Cycles, is sponsoring him and providing his bike with a free service. And a B&B at his first stop in Tregaron has given him a free room.

What is cystic fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition which causes sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system. There are around 11,000 people in the UK living with cystic fibrosis and 1 in 25 people are carriers of the condition.

Like with Sion’s cousin Joshua, most cases are picked up at birth and worsen over time. 1 in every 2,500 babies born in the UK have cystic fibrosis.

According to Cystic Fibrosis Trust: “Cystic fibrosis affects everyone differently. For those who are very ill with cystic fibrosis and have very poor lung function, daily life can be a struggle as basic tasks can leave them breathless.”

Treatments and physical activity can help reduce side effects of the condition, but life expectancy is short.

If you would like to donate to Sion’s fundraiser, click here.