Richard will be tackling the Cape Argus Pick ’n’ Pay Momentum Cycle Tour—the largest timed cycling event in the world with more than 35,000 taking part—to raise money for the group that have been helping him come to terms with his illness.

“Until the last five or six months, the furthest I had ridden was to university and back,” the former Kineton High School pupil said. “I cycled 85km (about 50 miles) the other day but that’s the furthest I have been.

“Also, I can’t afford to take my own bike out to South Africa so I am hiring a bike when I get out there.

“I hope to raise £1,000 for the Oxford Kidney Unit Trust Fund which helps young patients like me come to terms with their condition. I also want to urge more people to sign up for the organ donation scheme.

“I have gained such a lot of confidence from talking to the people in that group and now I want to give something back. The money would help take some of the young people out on trips and help to inform those who are diagnosed— many won’t know what kidney failure will mean to them.

A handful of cyclists are flying to South Africa to raise funds for the Oxford-based charity but Richard is the only one still waiting for a kidney transplant.

That means he struggles to concentrate for long periods, is constantly cold and quickly becomes tired. He also has to be careful what he eats and drinks.

He spent four weeks in hospital when diagnosed as a teenager but has now used his condition to push his own limits.

“I can find daily living a real test but am determined to do this ride to prove that you can succeed,” Richard said.

“Something like this doesn’t have to hold you back and I’m determined not to let life pass me by. In some ways it has given me extra confidence to go out and do things.”

While Richard and his fellow cyclists are in Cape Town they will be helping to set up a youth clinic similar to their own in Oxford—a place that would offer advice and support and that would treat young patients.

Anyone interested in sponsoring Richard should head to www.justgiving.com/rich-simpson