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Charity Bike Ride Organiser Inspires Bristol Primary School Children

Kevin Mashford, Co-Founder of The Transplant Association, visited Cheddar Grove Primary School this week to talk about his charity bike ride supported by Bristol Sport. 

Kevin was born with congentital heart disease and in 2012 his health took a turn for the worse. After a lifetime of hospital visits, medications and heart surgery he was told his only option would be to have a heart transplant. He waited a year on the waiting list until a match was found. 

Kevin was keen to find out about where his heart had come from and he was soon told that his donor had died in a cycling accident. This gave Kevin the urge to want to cycle in his donors memory. Just one week after surgery Kevin set about doing seven minutes on an exercise bike for the seven days of his new life.

With a friend who tragically lost her husband after a lung transplant, Emma Osborne, Kevin set up The Transplant Association Charity which aims to encourage people to sign the organ donor register and fund further education for nurses to deal with the psychological struggles for transplant patients and their families. 

The charity is hosting a number of cycling events to raise funds. The first major event being a 342 mile bike ride starting at Ashton Gate and ending at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, where Kevin had his transplant. Up to 60 riders will be setting off from what Kevin describes as the “heart of the city”.

This week Kevin spoke to over 50 Year Five children from Cheddar Grove Primary School about his transplant journey and the bike ride. These school children have chosen The Transplant Association as their class charity for this year and doing their bit by taking part as virtual riders. They are preparing for a 342 mile walk from Flax Bourton to Ashton Court with each child walking about 6 miles. 

To donate or to sign up to ride or as a virtual rider click here.

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