Cyclists sign up for Cork-Dublin trip to help fund child surgery

More than 200 cyclists have signed up for a biking trip this weekend which hopes to raise more than €150,000 to help doctors provide surgery to children with scoliosis and other health problems.

One of the organisers, orthopaedic surgeon Dr Patrick Kiely has called for other enthusiastic bicyclists to sign up for the Cork-Dublin event which involves a 195km cycle from Cork to Carlow next Saturday, followed by an 80km journey on to Dublin the next day on Sunday.

However, he said those who wish to do so, can opt for a shorter route: from Fermoy to Clonmel on Saturday or, alternatively, join the main team in Carlow on Sunday for the final leg of the challenge.

All funds raised will be allocated to Straight Ahead, a medical support group co-founded in 2011 and and run by Cork-born Dr Kiely, who is one of those participating in the cycle.

Many children in Ireland, who require orthopaedic surgeries for conditions like scoliosis, face long waiting lists before receiving treatment.

Their conditions often deteriorate while waiting for surgery, resulting in more invasive and expensive procedures in the long-term.

The team of surgeons which manages Straight Ahead tackles the problem of long waiting lists by offering pro-bono surgery to children who face significant delays in receiving important operations.

“Colleagues, friends and myself had concerns about the children on the waiting list and we decided to start Straight Ahead,” said Dr Kiely, adding that since the organisation was set up some four and a half years ago, the group’s medical personnel has treated 76 children.

“We do this in free time when the operating theatres are free and when we can get the staff and the space to carry out the surgeries,” he explained.

The group is affiliated to CMRF Crumlin, the principal fundraising arm for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin and the National Children’s Research Centre in Dublin.

It also funds vital paediatric research and has been able to establish the National Children’s Research Centre (NCRC), a world-class facility which provides state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for investigation into the causes and treatments of childhood disease.

The organisers of the cycling event, the Laurels Charity Crew has raised almost €500,000 for CMRF Crumlin over the past six years and has been working in partnership with Straight Ahead for several years.

The crew hopes to meet its biggest fundraising target to date of €150,000 — and Straight Ahead is to be the beneficiary of the two-day fundraising cycle from Cork — Little Island and Fermoy — to Dublin.

“We are hugely dependent on fundraising to maintain the pro-bono work we do and the funds raised from the Laurels Charity Cycle will help us continue providing crucial orthopaedic procedures and equipment for children across the country throughout 2016,” said Dr Kiely, a consultant at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin.

Registrations for the cycle can be made online at…/laurels-charity-cycle/ 

Alternatively you can contact the Laurels Charity Crew via its Facebook page or the Straight Ahead group via 


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