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Premature baby parents support new ‘Vyking’ bike ride in Yorkshire

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York parents Imogen, 30 and Euan Campbell, 35, are lending their support to a brand new children’s charity bike ride in Yorkshire.

The ‘Vyking Ride’ is organised by Action Medical Research and will be held on Sunday 19 April.

Euan, a Physiotherapist, will be taking on the 101 mile challenge and says he just wants to give something back: “Our son Wilfred was born about three months early, which came as a major shock to us.

“Action helps fund vital research, some of which looks into the causes of premature birth and the complications that can arise from it. If we can help prevent other parents having to go through what we went through, then the challenge will be well worth it.”

Action Medical Research funds groundbreaking research to help find answers. Answers that can lead to cures, treatments and medical breakthroughs for some of the toughest fights our children face.

In 2019, the charity launched its BORN TOO SOON campaign to raise £1 million by the end of 2020 to fund vital research that could save little lives.

Wilfred’s story

Wilfred was born at just 25 weeks and four days, weighing a tiny 2lb 6oz.

It was a major shock for Imogen and Euan.

“I was in denial more than anything,” Imogen reflects. “I kept thinking, he can’t come, he can’t come. But your body knows, and in the end it was all very quick.”

Wilfred, who was cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, was tube fed and needed a ventilator to help him breathe. Tests showed that, sadly, he had suffered a bleed on his brain, leading to irreversible brain damage.

Doctors also feared that the potentially deadly bowel disease NEC had taken hold.

After four months in hospital, little Wilfred was finally able to go home, weighing 7lbs.

Now aged three, Wilfred has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy but thankfully is mildly affected. He loves nothing more than playing with his little sister Edith who is nearly one.

Vyking Ride

Action is launching its brand new fundraising event for Yorkshire and is inviting anyone with a love for cycling to sign up.

Riders can choose from two routes: 58 or 101 miles.

Action’s Community Fundraising Manager for York, Georgina Thornton, says it’ll be a good challenge: “Each circular course starts and finished at the stunning Ampleforth College and riders will take in some of North Yorkshire’s most picturesque towns and villages including Helmsley, Rosedale Abbey and Osmotherley.

“There are some pretty steep climbs in there – it’s definitely a challenge. But there are plenty of feed stations and of course you’ll get your well-deserved medal at the end.

“We are delighted that Euan is joining us in this inaugural ‘Vyking’ challenge. The Campbell’s story really helps encapsulate all that Action is and why we raise vital funds.”

Entry is £40 which includes chip timing, feed stations, mechanical support, emergency support and a medal.

More information about the ride can be found on the event page. 

Action Medical Research is a UK-wide children’s charity which funds desperately needed research to tackle the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children. It has been funding medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952 including helping to introduce the first polio vaccines in the UK, developing the use of ultrasound in pregnancy and testing the rubella vaccine.

Action is currently funding research into areas including premature birth, epilepsy, scarlet fever, cerebral palsy, brain cancer and some rare and distressing conditions.

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