Cycling for my Son – Ian’s Story

09 October 2017

Ian Cartwright and his employers Great Portland Estates plc (GPE) raised a massive £73,000 with half going to Evelina London.

team of fundraisers in cyclist clothes on the lawn with the building behind and a couple of bikes in the front
Ian, with the rest of his colleagues from Great Portland Estates plc (GPE)

Starting in Bournemouth on 19 September, the peloton of 60 riders, comprising of GPE staff rode approximately 150 miles in two days into central London. Ian shares why he has such a special connection with Evelina London.

Ian’s son Louis was born at St Thomas’ Hospital in August 2005, five weeks premature, with Down’s syndrome. Soon after, it was confirmed that he was suffering from a heart problem, referred to as Atrioventricular Septal Defects (AVSD). This is a relatively common congenital heart defect in infants with Down’s syndrome.

Because of this diagnosis, Louis was unable to develop as well as he should have. After three months, an operation to repair the hole in his heart was carried out in November 2005 at Evelina London, just after the hospital first opened.

Ian said:
‘We are delighted to report the repair was a great success and Louis has never really looked back, though he remains an outpatient at Evelina London and goes for regular check-ups on his heart. Louis also remains registered with the neurosciences team at Evelina London, who have offered great support and assistance over the years and remain an extremely important source of help for my partner and I, in Louis’ ongoing development.’

The team initially hoped to raise £60,000 with both Evelina London and the Willow Foundation benefitting from the team’s annual cycling efforts, however, they went well beyond this figure, so far raising over £80,000.

Find out how you too can fundraise with work