A loving aunty has pedalled over the line to top this week’s Charity Champion leaderboard after organising a 100 mile cycle ride for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, which raised over £1,000.

Elizabeth Bower, 40, was inspired to raise vital funds to say thank you for the care her five-year-old nephew, Thomas, receives at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Thomas, who lives in Staffordshire, has a heart defect called Double Orifice Mitral Valve alongside other conditions. He has been treated at the children’s hospital for the past five years having had four open-heart surgical procedures and three cardiac catheter operations. Thomas also has a pacemaker fitted.

In order to give something back to the hospital, Elizabeth turned to fundraising. Wanting to challenge herself, she decided to cycle 100 miles.

She said: “I wanted to show the hospital how grateful our family is for Thomas’ excellent treatment. He has spent the last five years in and out of the children’s hospital and every time the staff have just been amazing.

“Cycling 100 miles in just one day was definitely a challenge for me, but I knew in order to raise a lot of money, I had to do something which would push me outside of my comfort zone. This meant I had to do a lot of training often in unpleasant weather, which actually prepared me well for the event day when it was a warm 25 degrees centigrade! My trainer and friend, David Bosley, was incredible and kept me going throughout.

“Birmingham Children’s Hospital means the world to our whole family – without their expertise and experience, Thomas would not be here today. I am so proud and honoured to be able to donate my £1,320 final total to help other patients like Thomas and families like ours.” 

Thomas is doing really well and still visits the children’s hospital for on-going check up’s.

Serena Daw, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We’re so pleased to hear how brave Thomas has been and we’re incredibly grateful to Elizabeth for choosing to say thank you by taking on such a unique challenge. It’s always so inspiring to hear how families can turn a negative experience into something positive by helping to make a difference to others. 

“The money Elizabeth has raised will go towards supporting our Intensive Care Unit, where Thomas has been cared for. It will be spent allowing us to make a huge difference to the lives of our brave children and their families.”