4th Dec, 2016

Taking to the bike to say thanks

Rob George 15th Apr, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

AN EVESHAM teenage motorbike enthusiast born with a hole in her heart is organising a fund-raising Bike Run to say thank you to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Emma Bell, 18, was diagnosed at 10-months-old with Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD), a heart condition which meant she had holes between the chambers of the right and left sides of her heart.

To avoid heart failure, Emma immediately received a life-saving operation to close her AVSD and spent a month at the children’s hospital recovering.

Seventeen years later, and now a big lover of motorbikes thanks to her dad Ian who works for a bike company, Emma has turned to fund-raising to give something back for the care she received.

Emma, who has attended regular check-ups at the children’s hospital over the years to keep an eye on her condition, hopes more than 100 riders will get involved and help to reach her £500 target.

“Raising money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity was a no-brainer,” she said.

“The organisation means such a lot to me and although not everyone will be able to relate to my story, they can still enjoy a bike ride knowing their small donation is going towards a very important cause.

“I think the event will also help me personally, by building my confidence.

“I’ve always felt really conscious of the huge scar on my chest, so thanks to this event I’ll be able to get stuck in and communicate with a range of people.

“Hopefully it’s a successful day and we can make the Bike Run a yearly occasion,”she added.

Following the event, tea and coffee will be available and five prizes, including hampers and motorbike-related materials, will also be raffled at an additional £1 per strip.

Nancy Lillington, regional fund-raiser at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, added: “It is always so heart-warming to hear that the care and treatment our hospital delivers everyday inspires our patients to fundraise.

“We are incredibly grateful that Emma is organising this exciting Bike Run and we wish her the very best of luck. We’ll be there during the day cheering on all of the big-hearted bikers!”

Motorcyclists are encouraged to meet at the Butler’s Café and Restaurant in Evesham town centre at 1.30pm and make a donation of £3 per bike towards Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, before driving to the BOF Clubhouse on Heath Lane.

Visit www.facebook.com and search for Spring Bike Run 2016 for more information on the event.

For more information on Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity visit www.bch.org.uk, e-mail fundraising@bch.org.uk or call 0121 333 8506