"People have been so inspired"

25 February 2014        

Arvind Devalia

Meet Arvind Devalia. He lost his cousin, Harish, just three days before Christmas. Now he's preparing to cycle 54-miles in his cousin's memory alongside 24 of his friends and family.

Have you have ever received a telephone call that changes your life forever?

I’ll always remember where I was on 22nd December 2013 when my mobile phone rang and I received a fateful call – indeed a life-changing wakeup call.

My sister’s first words were: “Have you heard…?” And then she couldn’t say any more, so she passed the phone to my mother. My heart sank as I immediately knew that something tragic had just happened.

My mother then told me the shocking news. My cousin Harish Devalia had passed away in hospital at the age of just 55 after a heart attack.

Saying goodbye

That Xmas was understandably rather muted as the extended family rallied around my cousin’s wife and his 17 year old twin son and daughter.

Harish was a very popular and much loved family member - astonishingly at his prayer memorial event, over 700 people came from all over the UK. It was heart-rending to hear Harish’s 17-year old son Yash Devalia so eloquently deliver his father’s eulogy.

Harish’s funeral was on New Year’s Eve and so 2013 ended on a very sad note.

A New Year's resolution

Yet January 2014 brought us new energy and determination to do something in Harish’s memory.

I suggested to Harish’s brother that we take part in the London to Brighton Bike Ride and raise funds for the British Heart Foundation (BHF), so that in future more people could be saved from an untimely death.

I got talking to some other cousins and a few friends and within a few days we had a team of 25! Six of my friends have signed up and joined our team even though they never met Harish.

People have been so inspired and are up for doing something, not just for fun but for a greater cause.

You can take part in London to Brighton 2014

There’s still time to register for the London to Brighton Bike Ride on 15th June 2014.

Sign up now

And if you'd like to support Harish's A-Team’s fundraising efforts, please visit our JustGiving page.