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Paris to Norwich: fundraiser to cycle 1,000 miles for hospital that saved his son’s life

PUBLISHED: 12:04 20 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:04 22 June 2017

Chris Hamlin and Mark Colman will be looking to raise £5,000 in a cycle ride across Europe. Picture: N&N

Chris Hamlin and Mark Colman will be looking to raise £5,000 in a cycle ride across Europe. Picture: N&N

Archant

A father is set to cycle over 1,000 miles in seven days to raise money for the hospital that saved his son’s life.

Chris Hamlin's cycle route. Picture: Archant. Chris Hamlin's cycle route. Picture: Archant.

Chris Hamlin, 37, from Norwich, will take on the challenge of a lifetime, of cycling to five capital cities in a week, in the hope of raising over £5,000 for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) charity.

His epic bike ride will take him – and friend Mark Colman – to London, Paris, Luxembourg City, Brussels and Amsterdam, before ending up back at the NNUH. The challenge will see them start on Thursday, June 22, and cycle over 140 miles a day.

Although Mr Hamlin is a keen cyclist, he has never ridden this far. He admitted this is his biggest challenge yet, and said: “It’s going to be a very tough journey.”

But Mr Hamlin has a very special reason for taking on the challenge. His two-year-old son James was treated in the Jenny Lind Children’s Department at the NNUH, for a respiratory condition known as a viral induced wheeze.

Every time he picked up an illness, his lungs would become blocked and he’d struggle to breathe.

This condition resulted in multiple ambulance trips to hospital.

“He couldn’t breathe and was dying in front of us.”

Mr Hamlin said: “All of the staff there are wonderful. They saved James’ life on multiple occasions and they deserve our support for the difficult job they do.”

The money raised by the two men will provide additional vapotherm units for the centre, which support patients who have trouble breathing.

Mr Hamlin said: “We wanted to do something that would show our appreciation to the staff for their exemplary care”.

He added: “Saying thank you doesn’t seem enough, so I decided that we should try to raise some money to help with the care and facilities for other families.

“Knowing that what we are doing will help other families avoid the pain my family went through will definitely help Mark and I stay motivated throughout.”

Louise Cook, NNUH fundraising manager, said: “Chris is taking on an epic ride, and we are grateful for him raising money for us.

“Many babies and children from all over Norfolk experience the care of our Jenny Lind Team every day so it is wonderful that Chris’s fundraising will help local patients.”

To support the ride, visit: www.justgiving.com/auwheels

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