Grateful dad raises £3,000 for unit which saved his children

Michael Brown, of Druridge Avenue, Seaburn, Sunderland, with his children twins Jake and Molly. Michael has juist completed a bike ride in aid of the Neo-natal unit at Sunderland Royal Hospiral.
Michael Brown, of Druridge Avenue, Seaburn, Sunderland, with his children twins Jake and Molly. Michael has juist completed a bike ride in aid of the Neo-natal unit at Sunderland Royal Hospiral.
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A DAD has handed over a cheque for £3,000 to the hospital unit that saved his children’s lives.

Michael Brown, 35, and two friends cycled the 162-mile Walney to Wear (W2W) route in a day.

The trio were then driven to Whitburn to tackle the 142-mile coast to coast (C2C) the very next day in a bid to raise cash for Sunderland Royal Hospital’s neo-natal unit.

The Mad Dash, completed on May 26 and 27, was the latest in a series of fund-raising efforts by Michael, following the premature birth of his children, Molly and Jake, in January 2006.

The pair faced a fight for life after arriving 10 weeks earlier, weighing only 1lb 11oz and 3lb 5oz respectively.

Jake and Molly are now fit and well but Michael’s determination to support the unit meant he was ecstatic to have exceeded the target he had wanted to raise.

He said: “I’ve always been a keen bike rider so I decided to do the two rides back to back because I don’t believe it’s been done in under 48 hours before.

“In the end, our riding time was just under 25 hours.

“It didn’t help doing the ride on the hottest weekend of the year but it was quite a pleasurable ride and we made good time.

“In the car to Whitburn I found I had sun stroke. I was being sick out of the car window and I was straight to bed as soon as we got to the hotel.

“I got two punctures on the second day that slowed us down a bit but we still managed to hit all our targets.”

A number of local businesses supported the fund-raising efforts, including the New Derby pub and Peak Body Fitness, who supplied the riders with food, drinks and T-shirts for the trip.

“I’d like to thank all the people who’ve helped us raise the money,” said Michael. “Everyone who donated and helped out has been really generous.

“Our goal was to raise £2,000 so we’re absolutely over the moon with £3,000.”

Twitter: @sunechomark