King’s Lynn pair getting on their bikes for Great Ormond Street Hospital
A father-of-two is gearing up to take part in a marathon bike ride to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
It has been two years since Ian Burt's youngest son Calum had a life-changing operation on his skull at the famous London hospital.
Mr Burt and his wife Rebecca were so delighted by the treatment they received at the hospital throughout their ordeal, he is taking part in a 212-mile cycle in a bid to raise vital funds.
He will be joined by friend and work colleague David Blackmore on Tuesday, April 10 in the Vancouver Quarter on exercise bikes and the pair are hoping to cycle 106 miles each - which combined is the equivalent of King's Lynn to the hospital and back.
The pair are hoping to complete the challenge in ten hours while raising �1,000 for the charity, which needs to raise �50m each year to help rebuild and refurnish Great Ormond Street Hospital, buy vital equipment and fund essential research.
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Mr Burt, who works as a photographer for the Eastern Daily Press, said his two-year-old has now been told he no longer needs to return to the hospital for check ups.
The King's Lynn resident said: 'Everyone at the hospital was fantastic to all of us and really helped us pull through. 'They have to deal with a lot and to be honest I am not sure how they manage to deal with it but they were so great to us. It's an incredible place but they rely on �50m of charity donations each year so that is why we decided to do our bit to help.'
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The exercise bikes are being provided by Bodyworks Fitness Studio in Lynn. They are also being supported by Sainsbury's on the day who will be providing energy drinks and food.
The pair have been training on regular bikes and covering distances of up to 25 miles on the cycle paths and roads around King's Lynn to prepare for the challenge.
Mr Burt continued: 'The last time we went to Great Ormond Street, there was a couple there with a baby girl. You could see they were really upset and I just knew they had just been told the same news we were told two years ago.'
He added: 'The doctors also asked us how Calum has been lately and to be honest he is happier now then he was before his operation.
'For most of the time after the operation he was upset a lot because his head hurt and he wasn't old enough to tell us but now he is really happy.'
Mrs Burt added: 'I'm really proud of Ian and I'm looking forward to cheering him on with Calum and Freddie as he nears the end of this challenge.'
For Mr Blackmore this will be the second long-distance exercise bike ride he has taken part in.
The 25-year-old cycled the equivalent distance of King's Lynn to Calais - 139 miles as the crow flies - last April to raise money for the Bobby Moore Fund.
He said: 'Having already done a similar fundraising event, I know we can complete the challenge but I also know how tough it is going to be.'
The Hospital for Sick Children first opened it doors at 49 Great Ormond Street on Valentine's Day 1852 with 10 beds. Today, Great Ormond Street Hospital deals with more than 192,000 patient visits every year.
You can follow them on Twitter on the day @Ian_Burt and @DavidBlackm0re and send them words of encouragement by using #BurtysBigBikeRide.
To sponsor Ian and David, click the link on the right-hand side of this page or visit www.justgiving.com/burtysbigbikeride.
For more information about the hospital visit www.gosh.org.