Scott and Nicole Kirkham are an Australian couple living in HCMC and in their quest of giving back something to the country they are living in, Scott, has organised a 15 day ride from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, covering a distance of over 2,000km to raise money for disadvantaged children in Vietnam who need life saving heart surgery. He plans to raise money for Heartbeat Vietnam (an organisation which AusCham has supported previously through our Charity Program).
Below is the official press release.
#Cyclefor16 with Heartbeat Viet Nam raises over US$50,000 to save the lives of 40 Vietnamese children
Ho Chi Minh City, Monday 22nd August 2016
It’s heartbreaking to hear that as many as 20,000 children across Viet Nam are waiting for life saving heart surgery.
What’s worse, most of these children come from families who are too financially disadvantaged to pay for their surgery and many will die waiting for help. Indeed, many are never diagnosed. But with the help of amazing and generous people, we can make a difference and help save a life.
Scott Kirkham and his family moved to Viet Nam last year; he acknowledges he is grateful to have a good life, with two healthy and happy kids. Scott quickly realised that he wanted to help some disadvantaged children who live a life in contrast to his own.
[Scott Kirkham] “It was intuitive. I’m a father and my wife and I wanted to find a way to give something back to this wonderful country. Looking for a charity that could help save children’s lives just made sense.”
Scott quickly discovered Heartbeat Vietnam, whose vision is a Viet Nam where all children, regardless of health complications or a lack of access to education, can take advantage of the numerous opportunities available so that they may contribute to society and accomplish their dreams.
Scott’s passion for cycling lead him to create an idea called ‘Cyclefor16’; cycling 1600 km’s in 16 days, to raise money to save 16 children with congenital heart disease. Working pro bono with the international brand activation agency, Geometry Global, he created a Campaign that has so far reached over 750,000 people and raised over US$50,000 or 1.1b VND.
[Scott Kirkham] “What started as a plan to save the lives of 16 children, quickly turned into something much bigger as we realised the amount of support being generated. I’m really proud to say that we’ve now saved 40 lives and we plan for more!”
On September 3rd 2016, Scott and fellow riders will start their Ride in Hanoi. Cycling down the country via Cuc Phuong, Hue, Hoi An, Da Lat and Nha Trang; they will ride their final 120km’s from Vung Tao on Saturday September 17th. As a tribute to the great support from the Caravelle Hotel to the charity, Scott will finish his ride underneath it’s open archway, ready to meet and thank the wonderful donators who have saved so many lives.
Along the journey to reach the Ride, Scott has met many children and their families in hospital post-surgery, and even visited Kien Giang at the home of one child. He tells us how moving it was to meet the first child who received life saving open-heart surgery from the #Cyclefor16 initiative.
[Scott Kirkham] “When we visited Hoang Huy Hoang in Tam Duc Hospital, a two and a half year old boy and his Mum, it was a fantastically rewarding experience. My wife Nicole made a special first donation, which in turn saved Hoang’s life. It was enormously emotional.”
Scott’s friends at Geometry Global have been proud to support his cause pro bono; Simon Breen, Head of Business tells us [Simon Breen], “When Scott pitched me his idea, I knew we could do something very special together for a wonderful cause. I’m extremely happy that so many generous people have got behind #Cyclefor16, we’re proud to have helped to save the lives of these 40 children.”
It’s not too late to donate towards #Cyclefor16, simply visit gofundme.com/cyclefor16 to donate in USD, or see facebook.com/cyclefor16 for details for VND donations. Every dollar counts, imagine if everyone who reads this donates…together we’d save hundreds more children’s lives.
Please make a difference today.
Contact: Nicole Kirkham 090 1185981 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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