Jon's Big Ride to Save Tiny Lives

Bereaved father chronicles his cycle challenge from John O'Groats to Lands End

Related Links

Bereaved fatherís amazing challenge to raise funds for research into Birth Asphyxia

More information on Jon's challenge and birth asphyxia can be found here

Jon can be sponsored here

Louise & Jonís thoughts on helping others through the loss of a baby


Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

When Chiswick resident Jon Furniss began his cycle ride from John O’Groats to Lands End he knew it was going to be a tough challenge but he had know idea how tough.

He decided to embark on marathon ride to raise both awareness of and funds for essential medical research into Birth Asphyxia after his daughter Eva died at just seven days old.

“We want to take the energy we derive from Eva’s life and channel that into a positive benefit,” explains Jon. “One way we want to do this is to put up with a lot of hardship over a seven day period by cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End to raise funds for research into birth asphyxia."

Throughout the challenge Jon wrote an incredibly moving and entertaining blog which can be found at

The blog chronicles his ride from stage one - John O'Groats to Inverness - all the way down to Lands End. Upon his arrival he writes, "I arrived at the Lands End theme park at 8:56pm feeling jubilant. We had a quick photo in the dark mist and John & Jennie produced a nicely chilled bottle of bubbly, which went down rather well.

"As I sipped it I thought about the glasses we never got to raise for Eva on the 28th April 2008, our poor girl received precious few celebrations. But I also thought about all the glasses that will be raised in the future when babies successfully treated of birth asphyxia with the help of your donations make their recoveries."

He was joined at various stages along the way by family, friends and fellow Chiswick resident James Cracknell and of course his wife Louise who was in charge of his invaluable support team.

Jon said, "To all those who have sponsored me to do the big ride: the funds that I could see coming in were a massive inspiration for me to dig deeper and complete the ride in 7 days. I have been completely bowled over by your generosity and I am amazed at how far reaching the impact of Eva's life has extended. I would like to thank you on behalf of all the babies that will survive birth asphyxia or avoid cerebral palsy based on the research made possible with your donations."

Donations so far stand at £15,073.40 which go to Sparks, a charity dedicated to funding pioneering paediatric research with a single aim: Helping ALL babies to be born healthy and stay healthy. Sparks is the only children’s charity to fund research across the whole spectrum of paediatric medicine. Since 1991, Sparks has committed over £16.3 million to fund research into conditions such as childhood cancer, childhood arthritis, meningitis, club foot, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and all the risks associated with premature birth. Charity Registration No 1003825 (England & Wales), SCO39482 (Scotland)

More information on Jon's challenge and birth asphyxia can be found here

Jon can be sponsored here:

Louise & Jon’s thoughts on helping others through the loss of a baby

April 24, 2009