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Press Release

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Title
Organ Donation baton relay setting off from Leicester’s Hospitals
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Press release date30/08/2017
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Summary
The Bodie Hodges Foundation is setting off from the Leicester Royal Infirmary on Thursday 31 August at 4:30pm on a baton relay to raise awareness of Organ Donation and to fundraise for an Organ Donation Education Programme.
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Press release
Details of event 
•As 4–10 September is National Organ Transplant week; friends, family and supporters of the Bodie Hodges Foundation will be undertaking the Great North Challenge (GNC) to help raise awareness of Organ Donation from 31 August to 10 September.

•A commemorative baton will be taken from Leicester Royal Infirmary to Newcastle, stopping at several important locations along the way. 

•A team of 4 Cyclists, 3 Swimmers, 5 Walkers and 17 Runners will carry the baton via Bodie’s Boathouse, Rainbows Hospice, Carlisle Hospital, Hadrian’s Wall, Newcastle Freemans Hospital and finally the Great North Run. 

•The total distance covered will be over 450 miles and we will be doing everything we can to raise the awareness of organ donation and the life changing impact it can have on both individuals and families. 

•Over 6000 people are currently awaiting a donation and around 500 of those will die waiting for a transplant. The aim of the GNC is to make more people aware of the impact that organ donation can have and for more families to start having conversations about signing up to the register.

Background of the Charity
•The initial aim of the Bodie Hodges Foundation was to raise funds to buy a holiday home for families to use following the death of their child. Bodie, died aged 10 months following a choking accident and the Boathouse built in his name, was opened in October 2016. 

•To date, 26 families that have been bereaved of a child have spent time at the Boathouse and it is hoped around 30 families per year can be supported.

•Following his accident, Bodie showed remarkable strength and courage. Although he lost his battle, he went on to become an organ donor and saved the lives of four other babies. As a result of this, raising awareness of Organ Donation has always been a key objective of the Foundation.

•Through a campaign the Bodie Hodges Foundation ran in a partnership with ‘A Million Likes for Matthew’ at the 2014 Great North Run, a successful kidney donor was found for Matthew Pietrzyk. Matthew was an 8 year old boy who had to spend 12 hours a day on dialysis until a match was found. Now 11, Matthew is living the life of a normal boy of his age following his successful transplant just over 1 year ago.


Great North Challenge Timetable

 

DAY

DATE

TIME

LOCATION

ACTIVITY

1

31 August

4.30pm

Leicester Royal Infirmary – outside the children’s emergency department

Start of Great North Challenge with the baton being taking by Nick Hodges and Craig Pietrzyk to Bodie's Boathouse

2

1 September

9am

Bodie's Boathouse, Tallington Lakes, Stamford

Swimmers taking the baton over the lake and handing over to Cyclists



2pm

Rainbows Hospice, Loughborough

Cyclists taking a break at Rainbows and talking to staff from the Hospice whose families we have supported

3

2 September

8am - 4pm

Uttoxeter to Chorley

Cyclists taking the baton 100 miles as part of the challenge

4

3 September

8am - 4pm

Chorley to Carlisle Hospital

Cyclists taking the baton 108 miles as part of the challenge



4pm

Carlisle Hospital

Cyclists hand over the Baton to our Walking Team who will walk the length of Hadrian's Wall

5

4 September

9am - 3pm

Hadrian's Wall

Walking Team take the baton along the wall

6

5 September

9am - 3pm

Hadrian's Wall

Walking Team take the baton along the wall

7

6 September

9am - 3pm

Hadrian's Wall

Walking Team take the baton along the wall

8

7 September

9am - 3pm

Hadrian's Wall

Walking Team take the baton along the wall

9

8 September

9am - 3pm

Hadrian's Wall

Walking Team take the baton along the wall

10

9 September

12pm

Newcastle Hospital

Walkers hand over the baton to the Running Team including Matthew Pietrzyk and the Hodges Family

11

10 September

9am onwards

Newcastle

Running Team take the baton complete the Great North Run


Nick Hodges, Founder of the Bodie Hodges Foundation and Bodie’s father said “One of our main aims since the Bodie Hodges Foundation was founded was to raise the awareness of Organ Donation and get more people to sign up to the register. We are passionate about trying to make more people understand just how important it is to get more donors registered and the difference it can make too many people’s lives.


The Great North Challenge is just one of the ways in which we are trying to influence a move to an ‘opt out’’ system for organ donation.”


Nicola Pietrzyk, co-founder of ‘A Million Likes for Matthew’ and Matthew’s mother understands fully the impact organ donation can have:


“On the 28th July 2016, Matthew was fortunate enough to be given the chance to live a real life because a special person decided to donate an organ to him. After spending nearly 8 years waiting and needing daily dialysis to stay alive, this precious gift has given Matthew the chance to be what he always wanted to be; a normal boy.


Organ Donation has given him and our family, a new lease of life. We couldn’t be happier and are thoroughly making the most of every day.”


The majority of the Challenge will take place during National Organ Transplant week. Martin Traynor, Deputy Chairman at Leicester’s Hospitals, said:


“We would like to wish the Bodie Hodges Foundation team the best of luck with both their baton relay and the Great North Run. We will follow their progress closely of this fantastic challenges.


Following his accident, Bodie showed remarkable strength and courage. Although he lost his battle, he went on to become an organ donor and saved lives. Bodie’s legacy is clearly visible around our hospitals through pull-up banners and a new wall mount that has been created.  


We are delighted to be promoting Organ Donation Week within the hospital. Transplants save lives and are only possible if people are willing to donate. We hope Nick Hodges and his team’s work will prompt our employees, patients and visitors to the hospital to think about organ donation and to commit to save lives as a donor by signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.”


If you would like to find out more about the challenge and how the Bodie Hodges Foundation supports Organ Donation, please go to www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/gnchallenge


ENDS 


Available to interview: 

  • Nick Hodges and Craig Pietrzyk will be available at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Newcastle Freemans Hospital.
  • Martin Traynor will be available at Leicester Royal Infirmary
  • NHS Organ Donation representatives and members of the Great North Challenge will also be available at various points along the route. 

 

Notes to Editors

For more information about the Bodie Hodges Foundation please contact: 

Paul Taylor – Operations Manager

07753607641 Paul.Taylor@Bodiehodgesfoundation.co.uk 

Nick Hodges - Founder
07887745850 Nick.Hodges@Bodiehodgesfoundation.co.uk 

Or visit: www.bodiehodgesfoundation.co.uk 

Contact information:
Contact information
For media enquiries and to confirm attendance at Leicester Royal Infirmary 4:30pm on Thursday 31 August please contact:
Paul Millington – Communications Officer
0116 258 8715 paul.millington@uhl-tr.nhs.uk
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Press release number
6432
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