The Transplant Tour
For 2023, Funraising Tours organised The Transplant Tour, a 500-mile cycle ride from Edinburgh to Oxford on behalf of GiveaKidney It commenced on 17th September and took six days. En route, it called in at transplant centres in Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham and Oxford. The ride was made a success with the help of the support team
The charity was formed to raise awareness of the fact that anyone can step forward as a living donor to help a stranger in need on the transplant waiting list (known as non-directed living kidney donation), in much the same way as someone might offer to give blood to someone they do not know.
As well as raising funds for the organisation, the ride aimed to increase awareness of the need for more potential living donors to help those people who might otherwise die or lead a significantly restricted life for want of a kidney. Living donation is the very best treatment option for most people with end stage kidney disease, and there are thousands of people on the transplant waiting list in need of a kidney.
For more information about the ride, please complete the form on the Contact Us page
So How Did We Do?
It's safe to say that The Transplant Tour was a success. Setting off on Sunday 17th September from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, we cycled south initially to our hotel in Bellingham, just under 96 miles, in fine, if dull weather, and that was the last dry day until we left Manchester on the Thursday morning. From Bellingham we started on the hilliest day of all, with over 2,500 ft in the morning on our way to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, for our next baton handover. This feature of our ride was symbolic of kidney donation, where a donor cyclist handed the baton to a recipient, and was repeated at each of the seven transplant centres. The day was wet and windy, and we added another 3,750 ft of climbing in the afternoon, a real challenge and probably the hardest day of all.
The next day was even wetter and windier as we caught the tail-end of a North American hurricane, and the cross-winds made cycling requiring one's full attention. Arriving in Leeds (St James Hospital) we were given a great reception by the staff, including cakes - cyclists must have cakes. The next day was even worse, weather-wise and in the interests of 'elf & safety, we opted for the train to Sheffield, where we had a wonderful reception and lunch laid on for us, and the Mayor of South Yorkshire greeted us with a surprise guest - Ed Clancy - that famous Olympic and World cycling champion. What a bonus and morale booster for what lay ahead. As we set off from the Northern General Hospital the heavens opened and in a matter of minutes we were soaked to the skin, but it did eventually ease off, and with it the wind. As we topped the Pennines at Winnat's Pass, all we had to contend with was physical exhaustion. Nevertheless we made our hotel in good heart, knowing that our next stop was less than half a mile away the next morning.