A CYCLIST is tackling a 40-mile bike ride to support his cousin who suffers from a chronic lung condition.

Mike To, from Widnes, will be cycling from Liverpool to Manchester today, Wednesday, to raise funds for the British Lung Foundation (BLF).

The 34-year-old was shocked to discover his cousin Kim Lam, 30, was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) two years ago.

Mike, from Farnworth, said: “I have only just made contact with my cousin who lives in Edinburgh.

“Raising money to help fight lung disease is more important to me now more than ever because I have seen how debilitating it can be for Kim.

“I am happy to be taking part in this event as it’s for a good cause and I’m cycling for those who can’t or are physically unable to.”

Kim’s plight has inspired Mike to give up smoking after 17 years.

“It has made me realise it is a bad habit,” he said. “Prevention is better than cure. This has been a wake up call.

“I’ve never had a reason to quit before.”

Mike, who works for the Co-op motor insurance, is also keen to tell people about COPD.

He added: “Having seen how it can be for people living with COPD, including the millions who go undiagnosed, through someone close to me, I want to do as much as I can to raise awareness.

“Even if you don’t think you suffer from a lung disease, I would recommend doing the British Lung Foundation’s online breath test if you feel breathless doing everyday things.”

Katie Lyall, community fundraising manager for the BLF, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Mike for his fantastic support.

“It’s thanks to the amazing fundraising efforts of people like him that we are able to continue our vital work, researching new treatments and supporting people living with lung disease.”

Mike has raised almost £2,000 and hopes to collect a further £500.

To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/MikeTo.