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Junior doctors go the extra mile for children’s hospital The Homeward Spin from Ho Chi Min

Monday, 16 July 2018

Iona Campbell (East Kilbride) and Mathew King (Kent) arrived at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children to mark the end of their epic fundraising cycle from Vietnam to Glasgow on Saturday 14 July.

The pair commenced their cycle ­­– ‘The Homeward Spin from Ho Chi Min’ – in February to fundraise for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.

In just five months, Iona and Matt have travelled across Asia and Europe almost entirely on pedal power. As well as racking up 16,000km, the couple has racked up over £6,900 for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.

Iona said: “We’ve been hoping to raise awareness and funds for Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity. The charity is one that is close to our hearts. During our two years as junior doctors we have both seen the massively beneficial effects that this charity has on the young lives of those unlucky enough to be afflicted with illness early on in their lives.

“Whether it be enabling the purchase of the top of the range surgical equipment or facilitating activities and events for the children to brighten their day, the charity does so much for the youngsters in the hospital’s care.”

Throughout this epic challenge, both Iona and Matt were kept motivated by the cause they were so proud to support. Matt said: “It’s hard to admit that there have been so many times where we’ve been really struggling to get the miles done with logistical delays, bouts of illness and sore legs.

“Sometimes the only thing that kept us moving was knowing we were raising money for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity. We proudly wear our charity tops, and would cycle it all over again if it meant helping out more Scottish kids and their families going through tough times.”

Kirsten Sinclair, Chief Operating Officer at Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity said: “It was a privilege for our team to be able to welcome Matt and Iona back home today. As junior doctors themselves, Matt and Iona already do a wonderful job caring for our families in hospital, so to have also conquered this cycle in support of our patients is truly remarkable. We hope Matt and Iona are feeling very proud, and want to thank them for their incredible support.”

The fundraising cycle has taken Matt and Iona through South East Asia, China, countries of the former USSR and Europe. The pair were lucky to meet local people who helped them along their journey through various acts of kindness. A misprint on a map showing their non-existent accommodation even led them to being ushered in to a local Uzbek home for hospitality.

“The whole extended family came round to say hello and they put on a banquet for us. We’ve honestly seen a lot of kindness. Freebies in cafes, upgrades in accommodation and hanging out of car windows with water and snacks. It would be hard to forget such kindness.” 

On this trip of a lifetime, the kind-hearted couple also became engaged with a special proposal in Laos. In a few weeks’ time, Matt and Iona will be walking the wards again in their new posts at Ayrshire’s Crosshouse Hospital and the Princess Royal Maternity in Glasgow, respectively, where they’ll continue to go the extra mile for their patients. To show your support to Matt and Iona, visit their fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/matt-iona-cycle