Meet the nutters

Carmenutter (she responds best to Carmen)

Carmen is the brain behind this bike challenge. (And, as the pictures below prove, Ben provides the looks for the pair!) She is the auntie of little Sanziana, who suffers from Dravet Syndrome. Because she didn't like standing idle while her little niece was suffering, she decided to do whatever she could to help her. So, as Carmen enjoys cycling, especially when going downhill!!, she came up with the idea for this challenge, to go from the most eastern point of England, to its most western point, by bike!
Carmen is a Romanian girl, from Bucharest, who has just finished a Masters' programme in England, at Anglia Ruskin University. Because she wants you to know she is extremely clever (and modest, of course), she hurried to add that she finished her studies with a distinction!
In her spare time, when she is not bragging about how good she is, she likes to read, watch TV series and to do puzzles of all sorts and kinds. At the moment she's combining all three of them as she started reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels, she is obsessed with the BBC series Sherlock and well, she still does many puzzles. She also picked up this annoying habit of trying to guess people's backgrounds by observing them and their attire.

She also loves volunteering and so takes on a lot of extra work, which she really really enjoys. She thinks that the world is not a nice place at the moment and she tries really hard to change it for the better with whatever she does. She is a type of goody two-shoes really! And of course, as you can see her modesty is unimaginable.

Benutter (also known as Ben)

The new superhero: Captain Diceman!

Benjamina of the Amazonian Rainforest

Ben is a young, good looking chap from South Benfleet, Essex. I am not always as fashionably dressed as I am in this picture though (sorry girls – don’t tell Carmen I said this). I work as a Health Improvement Practitioner for CECS. My job involves working in primary care helping people to address diet and weight issues, but also helping people to stop smoking. This work has put me in contact with all sorts of interesting people from different walks of life.

In my spare time I like being active, reading (mainly fantasy), watching TV series and spending time with Carmen (thought I’d say this as Carmen was looking over my shoulder).

My primary reason for doing this challenge is because it is of a personal nature to me. There is a little girl named Sanziana (Carmen’s niece) who suffers from the syndrome. She is such a happy child, in everything she does even though she has to go through so much. It is very heartbreaking to think of what she has to go through and also that due to her condition she will be unable to live a normal life. I think we take for granted all the things that we can do, and don’t think much about those people who are unable to do them for some reason. Things as simple as walking a mile to the shops or reading the sports section of the newspaper. These are everyday things that people who have Dravet are unable or have great difficulty doing.

Another reason why this challenge appealed to me is because my dream is to travel the world. To experience different cultures and see as many of the beautiful places in it, the places I have only seen before in photographs. A good way to start this is by seeing more of England, the country that I live in! (This is also why I made the route a little longer than Carmen first intended)

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