Just eight places are left on a two-wheeled expedition with round-the-world cycling record holder, Mike Hall, that could help save the lives of thousands of newborn babies.
The Cycle-A-Difference charity is bidding to raise money to fund vital equipment and training for nurses at the Da Nang Hospital for Women and Children in Vietnam.
Hall, who last month cycled 200 miles a day to complete an 18,000 mile circumnavigation of the globe in 91 days and 18 hours, will be the guide for riders who will cover 850 miles on a 10-day ride through the remote highlands of northwest Vietnam.
Riders will cover 85 miles a day on cyclo-sportive style ride through the remote highlands of northwest Vietnam. Four days will be spent in the mountains before dropping on to the Ho Chi Minh trail and finishing the ride at the Da Nang Hospital.
The UK-registered charity was founded by Suzanna Lubran and the Cycle-a-Difference ride will be supported by her son, Velobrands director, Luke Humphreys. Ms Lubran relocated to Vietnam five years ago when her husband changed jobs and volunteered to help Dr Xuan at the Da Nang hospital.
“I thought that I had a good grasp of poverty from traveling, and from prior charitable interests, but nothing in my previous life experience had prepared me for the reality of the burden of illness in developing countries, or for being powerless in the face of easily preventable child deaths,” she said.
She has led the design, development and funding of a neonatal intensive care unit and raised over £200,000 in the process. The hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has been open a year but remains critically short of nurses.
Her son added: “So many people have no idea that world-wide around 10,000 babies die every day from easily preventable causes.”
Luke has pledged to assist riders prepared to take on the challenge which aims to fund training for nurses at Canterbury Christ Church University and set up Vietnam’s first neonatal nurse training programme, and to purchase lifesaving equipment.
A maximum of 50 riders will tackle the ride, which takes place from May 14 to 27 2013. Each is required to raise or donate £3,000, which includes a £500 deposit. Eighty per cent of funds will go to the charity, with an ambition to make that 100 per cent. All costs are included in the amount.
Note: Twelve riders were needed when RCUK published this story two days ago. Four further sign-ups indicate the remaining places are likely to go quickly. Get involved by visiting Cycle-A-Difference