A 125-mile bike ride in memory of a March baby who lived forjust seven weeks and two days has raised more than £7,000.
A team of 12 cyclists took on the gruelling ride in tribute to baby Alice Stevens, who was born with Edwards Syndrome, or Trisomy 18.
The genetic condition leads to low birth weight and serious medical conditions, with only five per cent of babies born with it surviving beyond 12-months-old.
After Alice was born at Hinchingbrooke Hospital last September, she was immediately transferred to the hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), where she lost her fight for life.
She was then taken to the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) in Milton, near Cambridge.
As a thank you for Alice’s care, her mum and dad Rob and Zoe Robinson, from March, organised the charity bike ride, Ride for Alice, in aid of Dreamdrops, the Huntingdonshire children’s charity that supports the SCBU and EACH.
Starting at the EACH hospice in Quidenham, Norfolk, at 6.30am last Saturday, July 11, the ride passed through three counties – with stops at the EACH hospices in Ipswich and then at Milton, where staff came out to meet and greet the weary riders.
Eleven hours later they reached their final destination at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon.
There they were met by nurses from SCBU, family and friends, as well as Matthew Winn, the chief executive of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, which runs the SCBU, and chair of Dreamdrops Anne-Marie Hamilton.
Mr Winn said: “The Ride for Alice team undertook a phenomenal bike ride to raise money for our neo-natal unit and EACH.
“Our clinical team had the privilege to care for Alice during her short life and we are very indebted to the fundraising efforts of Rob and Zoe and their friends and family.
“We will be putting the money raised to good use in the baby unit so a new set of families can benefit from the improved environment.”
Mrs Robinson, who followed the riders in a car, said: “What was really nice was that there were staff members there from the charities when the riders arrived at Milton and Hinchingbrooke.”
Mr Robinson added: “The nurses at SCBU could not have done anything more when Alice was in the unit.
“Some of the staff came to meet us at the finishing line, even though they were not working that day.
“It’s that kind of above and beyond the call of duty care that we wanted to thank them for by raising money for the unit.
“We wanted to do something so other babies and parents can benefit from some of the nice things that the extra money can buy, like the sensory lights that were on Alice’s cot.”
The couple said staff at EACH in Milton also “went out of their way” to help them in their time of grief.
They also thanked all the Ride For Alice riders, support teams and their families for all the help and support in making the event a success.
Anyone wishing to donate money in memory of Alice can visit: www.rideforalice.co.uk