Jamaica By Bike Returns With Kingston To Negril Charity Ride
The Jamaica By Bike Kingston to Negril charity ride is back after a one year hiatus, and the organizers are aiming to increase donations to beneficiary – the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).
Conceptualized in 1992, the annual Jamaica By Bike ride takes place on the Heroes Weekend, and this year, the participants have up to October 6 to register for 142 miles via the South Coast on Saturday, October 14.
Jamaica By Bike committee member, Martin Fong Kong shared that previous ride events were done via the South Coast, but circumstances at the time had led to a route change. “At inception the South Coast was the original route but was avoided due to the poor condition of the roads. With current road improvements, we are returning to our roots,” he said.
Fong Kong shared that as with previous years, proceeds from the event will go towards upgrading medical equipment used in the Intensive Care Unit at the UHWI. “We’re back, bigger and better than ever, with the aim of increasing our reach, our participation, and our contribution. This year’s proceeds go towards purchasing lifesaving equipment for our lifelong beneficiary, the Intensive Care Unit at the UHWI,” he noted.
Dr. Hyacinth Harding-Goldson, Consultant Anaesthetist & Critical Care Specialist, Department of Anaesthetics, UHWI has pinpointed a defibrillator as the key equipment to be purchased. The defibrillator is an electrical device that provides a powerful electric shock to the heart through the chest wall or internally, when there is a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm present.
“This piece of equipment is essential in an ICU not only because this is where the sickest patients in the hospital are cared for, but is the ward where these abnormal heart rhythms most commonly occur. A defibrillator is an incredible life-saving machine that can literally save hundreds of lives,” said Dr. Harding-Goldson.
Dr. Harding-Goldson expressed her appreciation for the donations from Jamaica by Bike since the inception of the charity ride, pointing out that several critical equipment have been purchased over the years and these have aided in rendering medical assistance to the critically ill. Key beneficiaries are patients suffering from life threatening illnesses such as heart attacks, heart or brain surgery, patients requiring breathing support on mechanical ventilators such as those with severe asthma, pneumonia, multiple trauma patients eg. motor vehicle accidents, those suffering from gunshot wounds.
“As health care professionals we are ecstatic to be a primary beneficiary as this initiative provides well needed equipment that helps us to provide highly specialized medical care and save the lives of many persons across Jamaica, especially those who cannot afford the high cost of private health facilities or that of flying overseas for care,” she shared.
Dr. Harding-Goldson said since the Ride’s inception the UHWI has always provided a medical team to support the riders. Drs. Dominique Goldson, Marlon Goldson and Asha Rattery will be the medical participants for this year’s event, and additional support will be provided by five doctors who will be riding with the participants.
Outfitted in approved safety gear, cycling aficionados will take the journey from Kingston to Negril as Jamaica By Bike renews its commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles, fitness, and teamwork while raising funds for a worthy cause. “We do this event for our love of cycling, and we are pleased to be able to make a valuable contribution to the health sector with the support of our sponsors who, through their contributions help us to touch the lives of some of the most vulnerable in need of medical care,” said Fong Kong.
The Jamaica By Bike Kingston to Negril is being supported by official transportation partner, Toyota Jamaica Ltd., and Howard Foster, General Sales & Marketing Manager shared that it has been a pleasure for Toyota Jamaica (TJAM) to be the official transportation provider for the ride over the years.
“Through our sponsorship we are able to reduce the costs associated to host the event which increases the funds raised for the chosen charity,” Foster said. “This year the UWHI ICU will receive all proceeds of the ride. TJAM is encouraging those who are willing to come out and support this Charity Ride which is not just fun but supports a worthy cause.”
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