Irish sports star gets behind 250mile capital to capital charity cycle in aid of London Irish Ward Appeal

Irish sports star gets behind 250mile capital to capital charity cycle in aid of London Irish Ward Appeal

PARALYMPICS star Katie-George Dunlevy has backed a major charity event raising much-needed funds for hospitals in Britain and Ireland.

The cyclist, who took home a gold and silver medal from the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, was on hand to support eight sponsored cyclists who set off from London this week on a 250mile cycle.

The group headed to Dublin as part of a push to raise money for The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) Charity, and CMRF Crumlin - the fundraising body of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in the Irish capital.

A Charity Cycle Dinner for 300 people also took place at The Radisson Blu St Helen’s, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, to celebrate the successful completion of the cycle ride and to raise even more money for both charities.

The sponsored cycle ride was the latest in a series of events being organised as part of the RNOH London Irish Ward Appeal.

The Appeal aims to build and fit out one of the RNOH’s new 32-bed adult wards.

The ward, which will be called the London Irish Ward, will treat patients with a range of complex conditions, such as bone tumours, spinal deformity and sarcoma, a rare form of cancer requiring highly specialised treatment.

As the end point of the cycle challenge was Dublin, it was decided that this particular event would also benefit Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

Professor Anthony Goldstone, RNOH, Stanmore and Katie-George Dunlevy with the eight cyclists who took part on the charity challenge.

To date, £56,000 has been raised by the cycle event, with proceeds being split equally between both the RNOH London Irish Ward Appeal and CMRF Crumlin – each receiving £28,000.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of its supporters, the London Irish Ward Appeal has already raised £553,664 to date.

Chief cycle event organiser Alan O’Reilly said: “This event marks the culmination of many months of training for our dedicated cyclists.

"While the weather has relented over the last few weeks, our cyclists have all braved a number of cold, dark and often wet weekend mornings to get themselves into peak condition for this challenging 250-plus mile cycle.

"A huge thanks to our sponsors, to our Cycle Committee, and of course to our intrepid cyclists themselves. We really are hugely appreciative of everyone’s hard work and generosity.”

Professor Tim Briggs, the RNOH’s Director of Strategy and External Relations, said: “The funds raised through this event, and through the London Irish Ward Appeal as a whole, will quite simply transform the experience of the RNOH’s patients.

"They will enable us to purchase a range of equipment which will significantly improve our patients’ comfort, and the quality of care we are able to offer them. We cannot thank the London Irish Community enough for their support.”

The RNOH, the largest specialist orthopaedic hospital in Brtiain, and a recognised world leader in the field of orthopaedics, treats more than 125,000 neuro-musculoskeletal patients a year for conditions ranging from acute spinal injuries to chronic back pain.

The century-old RNOH is undergoing a major £50million redevelopment of its site in Stanmore, Middlesex.

The RNOH Charity has launched a £15million Redevelopment Appeal, of which the Lonodn Irish Appeal is a part of, to fund vital additional facilities and equipment for the new hospital.

The Irish Post is a proud sponsor of the London Irish Ward Appeal.