“It’s my way of doing something positive, outside my comfort zone, to show support. It’s going to force me to reshape my lifestyle” – fundraiser Sarah is cycling from Italy to the Arctic Circle as EACH cares for baby nephew Joseph

A spirited cyclist is gearing up for the adventure of a lifetime in her quest to raise vital funds for charity.

Sarah Osborn is taking on the unsupported, ultra-endurance NorthCape4000 event from Italy to the Arctic Circle for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

It is a charity close to her heart as baby nephew Joseph receives care at Milton.

He has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) – a rare condition where the left side of the heart does not develop properly and is too small – and parents Francis and Annabel, who live in Royston, are being supported by EACH.

Student Sarah is a keen cyclist and tackling the epic ride to raise funds and awareness.

The NorthCape4000 event gets underway on 20th July, starting from the Italian city of Rovereto.

Along the way she will stop at various checkpoints – the German cities of Munich and Berlin, Copenhagen, in Denmark, and Rovaniemi, in Finland.

Sarah’s final destination will be North Cape, on the Norwegian coast and the most northerly point in Europe.

“I’m feeling very excited, if slightly terrified,” said the 24-year-old, who is studying medicine at Swansea University.

“I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s going to be very different to my usual bike rides, which are sometimes just a few minutes between lectures!

“Instead, I’m going to be spending hours in the saddle every day, with the clock constantly ticking.

“It’s a race against time and I’m not a particularly competitive person, so will have to change my mindset completely.

“That was part of the appeal of taking the challenge on as my brother and sister-in-law have had to completely change their lifestyle, because of Joseph’s condition.

“They’ve gone from excitedly looking way into the future to pretty much taking every day as it comes.

“It’s an inconceivable challenge and I’m not suggesting my bike ride is similar or close to that magnitude.

“However, it’s my way of doing something positive, outside my comfort zone, to show support.

“It’s going to force me to reshape my lifestyle and I’m terrified of either failing to complete the challenge or getting injured.

“Part of me wonders if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew and I’m undoubtedly pushing my body to its physical limits.

“It should be an incredible experience, though, and I’m sure the scenery will be beautiful. I’m excited.”

Joseph was born last September and has already had open-heart surgery twice, since being diagnosed with HLHS.

“My brother and sister-in-law are surrounded by love, but life is undoubtedly challenging for them,” said Sarah, who hails from Wiltshire.

“Despite that, they’re coping well and very grateful for the support they receive from EACH.

“It means a lot to them, knowing they have professional people to speak to and helping them face an uncertain future.

“I wanted to do something proactive so spoke to Francis and Annabel.

“They said the best thing would be to raise funds and awareness for EACH, because both are so important.

“In terms of the latter, I think it’s important to tell people about the amazing work children’s hospices do.

“It can be a painful, emotive topic but it’s vital to have open conversations because these situations are very real.

“As a family, we know that more than most now.”

To show your support and sponsor Sarah, head here.

“EACH is clearly a charity that means so much to Sarah and her family,” said Senior Community Fundraiser Anna Bruce.

“Her challenge is simply incredible and we’ll be rooting for her every step of the way.

“We’re so thankful for her support and can’t wait to hear all about it.”

Find our notes to editors here.

Keep in touch:

For further information about this release please contact:

Matt Plummer | Media and PR Manager | 07738 328058 | Matt.Plummer@each.org.uk

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