A man who has been self-isolating on his own for nearly two months, to protect his health, has gone the extra distance for the sick kids at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, raising over £470 after taking on a 12-hour static bike-a-thon in his living room.

Thirty-one-year-old Luke Corbet, from Sutton Coldfield, was all set to take on the London Marathon in April, when the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Not only disappointed that he wouldn’t get to take on his challenge, which he had been training for, for months, his own existing health conditions also meant that Luke now needed to completely isolate to shield himself against the virus.

Luke was born with Chronic Renal Failure and at the age of three he had his first kidney transplant at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Although his parents and doctors were hopeful, it became apparent that the transplant had been unsuccessful. His family were devastated and as Luke’s kidney function was now so poor, the decision was made that he would have to begin daily dialysis treatment to clean excess water and toxins from his blood as his kidneys should have been doing. Luke’s condition continued to worsen until he was nine when he received his second kidney transplant, and this time it was a success! Despite continuing to live with the effects of his condition, including partial sightedness, since his operation, Luke has never taken anything for granted and nearly 23 years later, he feels he owes his life to the hospital.

With fundraising events across the UK on hold, Luke needed to find another way to fundraise for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, as well as a couple of other charities close to his heart. Without leaving the house, it would be tricky, but Luke finally set upon the mammoth challenge of a 12-hour bike-a-thon. Luke turned to social media to raise awareness ahead of his fundraiser, inspiring both friends and strangers to join in with a similar challenge and on the day he even set up a live stream on Twitter to share parts of his virtual journey. With his followers behind him and some of them video calling with messages of support and encouragement, Luke gave it his all and kept cycling for 12 hours straight.

Luke said: “Being so ill as a child and now having to spend my time in isolation has really put life into perspective for me – I’ll never take anything for granted. I’m so grateful for the fantastic care I received all those years ago and I’ve wanted to do something to say thank you ever since.

“The bike-a-thon was a lot harder than I ever imagined. Being partially sighted, I’d never ridden a bike, so it had never even occurred to me how uncomfortable spending 12 hours on a saddle would be! But I managed to power through, thanks to the support of my friends and I’m so thrilled with how much I was able to raise.”

Miranda Williams, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Whether shielding, isolating or social distancing, staying at home is a challenge in its own right but by the power of social media, Luke still managed to use his bike-a-thon to inspire others, keep in touch with old friends, make new ones and raise an incredible amount for our charity.

“We’re so grateful for Luke’s efforts and the money he’s raised for us will go towards helping us do more for the 90,000 sick kids we treat every single year.”