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Czech pilgrims give cycling clothing to Pope Francis

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Vatican/Olomouc, North Moravia, Aug 10 (CTK) – Pilgrims who set out on a bicycle trip to see Pope Francis from the Czech Republic three weeks ago ended it by symbolically giving him a cycling clothing with the name Tour de Franz on Wednesday.

They met Pope Francis during a general audience over which they rode 1,500 kilometres in the white-yellow-pink cycling clothing.

The rare visit to the head of the Catholic church was achieved by the parents of a girl with a serious health problem.

With their trip, they wanted to warn of the difficult situation of the families that have to look after children suffering from neurological disorders.

“There is a tremendous euphoria. On the other hand, I feel tremendously tired,” organiser Vlastimil Blatak, father of the five-year-old girl named Lucie, who suffers from the health problem, said.

Due to her trouble, she could not see the pope herself.

“We could see the pope personally, we gave him the cycling clothing,” Blatak said.

Blatak said with the journey, as the main organiser he wanted to highlight the needs and problems faced by the families with children suffering from neurological defects in the health, social and financial spheres.

After the purchase of all the medical devices that are not covered by health insurance companies, the families often do not have anything to eat, Blatak said.

The cycling peloton set out on its journey to Rome on July 20. It was blessed by Olomouc Archbishop Jan Graubner. They rode across Brno, Znojmo, south Moravia, Linz, the Alps and Venice to Rome.

Lucie was born with a harmed brain in October 2010. The parents say poor medical treatment was to blame for her plight. The court dispute between the parents and the hospital has not yet ended.

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