A team of researchers from King’s College London get set to cycle the length of Sri Lanka next week to raise funds for the international fight against heart disease.
From Sunday 11 June to Monday 19 June the team of five will cycle 750km, travelling from south to north Sri Lanka. They will start at Dondra and finish at Point Pedro, travelling via Sri Lanka’s East Coast. Some of the world’s top cardiologists and heart researchers will be in the region for the Academic Sessions of the Sri Lanka Heart Association and will gather at the start to send the team off.
The team consists of friends and colleagues, many of whom have not been on a bike for 20 years or more. BHF funded researchers, Sri Lankan-born Dr Divaka Perera, and Professor Mike Marber, will cycle alongside GP Rob Daniels, Consultant Cardiologist Peter O’Kane and Sri Lankan-born Shamindra Perera.
The group have already raised more than £10,000 for our life saving research and to help fund the construction of a children’s cardiac and critical care complex at Lady Ridgeway Hospital, Colombo – a Government-approved project, deemed a national priority.
What our researchers say about the challenge:
Dr Divaka Perera said: “The NHS is an internationally renowned institution that doesn’t discriminate when it comes to healthcare. Being from Sri Lanka, I also have first-hand experience of the healthcare inequalities around the world and this is an amazing opportunity for us to contribute towards improving the outcomes of critically ill children in Sri Lanka.”
Professor Mike Marber added, “It’s an honour to be able to help the BHF continue its world-leading research effort, which forms the basis of healthcare advances in the UK and throughout the world.
“This challenge is out of our usual comfort zone, but we feel it is entirely worthwhile putting the effort into training and completing the ride. Cycling in 35 degrees heat could make it even harder. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that we’re all very much looking forward to embracing.”
Why are they fundraising?
Heart and circulatory disease kills an estimated 17.5 million people worldwide – 31% of all global deaths. Research discoveries are vital in preventing, diagnosing and treating these devastating conditions, yet in Sri Lanka children with heart disease and critical illnesses are still in need of basic access to adequate treatment.