My name is Joe Hemsley-Rudd and I will be cycling from London to Paris on the 14 - 18 September 2021 to raise money for the Craniofacial Team for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity because of the amazing work they do for sick children.
In 2018 our son Louis was diagnosed was a condition called Craniosynostosis, which one or more of the fibrous sutures in his skull prematurely fused by turning into bone, thereby changing the growth pattern of the skull.
Because the skull could not expand perpendicular to the fused suture, it compensated by growing more in the direction parallel to the closed sutures. In some cases, where the skull size does not provide enough space for the growing brain, craniosynostosis results in increased intracranial pressure. We we’re fortunate that Louis did not suffer from raised pressure, however in children that do suffer it can cause issues with speech and language and development delays.
So, in May 2019, The Craniofacial Team at Great Ormond Street Hospital led by Mr Jeelani and Professor Dunnaway performed a full 360 reconstruction of Louis skull. The operation went well and Louis will continue to be monitored for raised pressure throughout his childhood years.
The period of time between diagnosis and recovery from the operation was really difficult for our family. However we were well supported by those closest to us and the fantastic team at GOSH.
16 AUGUST 2020
Ely Cathedral to Great Ormond Street Hospital
It was an early start, 5am on a Sunday morning! The weather was a slightly damp with a bit of mist coming off the fens. The time was set with my support crew ready to go including Stuart Grainger, Graham Brazier and my fellow rider Rory Havis.
Mark Cooney & Alison Powell from Spotted In Ely who have kindly followed my journey from the start last year, joined us at Ely Cathedral for a brief interview and photo opportunity to put out on the media channel.
Time to go....We headed up the Gallery and hit the A10 in darkness to make it to Cambridge in around 45 minutes! Try doing that in your car at rush hour!
We made our way through the historic street of Cambridge city centre and made our way past Addenbrookes and then onto Harston. Mark has the opportunity to take some action shot photos from fairly quiet street around the city.
Time for a quick break on the Outskirts of Royston and time to take on some water/food to get us ready for the “Hills of Hertfordshire” and we kicked on after a 10 minute break.
We headed up to Barley, Nuthampstead and Puckeridge with the morning finally breaking a few drops of rain starting to come down! Bit of a change of weather as we got to Ware with the temperature and Humidity starting to make us sweat a little!
We got around to Hoddenson and knew we were get close to North London, so we took an opportunity to have a break and finding a spot to take on some more food but importantly have some well deserved banter with the support team, who we lost for a few miles!
Making great time we started to see the Red Buses of London, which was a fantastic sight knowing that we were now in North London and getting close to the end of the challenge.
London Traffic is as bad on a bike, we hit every red light I think possible and we counted roughly 50! So from a timing perspective we probably wasted 25-30 mins sitting at traffic lights but it gave us a chance to have a chat about the route we were taking.
Now getting close My Garmin decided to search for alternative routes, which was very fun especially in areas we were not able to stop very easily!
Seven Sisters hill came, after 68 miles it was one to give you a test for your legs! We made it and now we were getting close.
Graham from the Support Team called and said we will meet you on the finish line, we cycled past Mount Pleasant Postal Office and then I knew where we were!
The final drag we turned down Lamb Conuit Street and it was a walk I did many times when Louis was at the hospital, which gave me the strength to get to the finish line and we turned on final straight heading up to a fantastic welcoming from the Support Team, Great Ormond Street Hospital team, Alessandro Borghi and a film crew!
I was presented with the GOSH Hero award for 2020 by Carol Thompson (GOSH) for all the fundraising efforts across last 9 months, which is an absolute honour.
In support of the GOSH and to raise awareness for Craniosynostosis, Ely Cathedral kindly lit up the octagon Purple and I was interviewed by Spotted in Ely to discuss the challenge.
Spotted in Ely awarded me with a Community Star award voted by the local community, which gave an amazing finish to such a fulfilling day.
Thank you to the sponsors of this ride FWD-IP, PEM, Ely Cathedral, Spotted In Ely, Rory Havis and Joe Ison for your support.
Lastly thank you to the local community for all the support and for the fundraising with over £2000 of toys bought for the children of GOSH from this challenge - which is simply amazing.
Thanks , Joe, Anya and Louis
1. Fundraise for Great Ormond Street Hospital and in particular the Craniofacial Team
2. Raise awareness about Craniosynostosis
as it affects 1 in 2000 births.
So if you can help me in my challenge to cycle 300 miles from London to Paris in 4 days in September 2020, I would be extremely grateful. Any donations would be greatly appreciated however big or small as it would massively help.
We fundraise to enhance Great Ormond Street Hospital’s ability to transform the health and wellbeing of children and young people. Donations help to fund advanced medical equipment, child and family support services, pioneering research and rebuilding and refurbishment.
Charity Registration No. 1160024
Find out more about charity fundraising