Nautical nurses to row Atlantic
30 November 2007
Two nurses from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) - the UCL Institute for Child Health's associated teaching hospital - are competing in the Atlantic Rowing Race 2007 in an effort to raise £250,000 for metabolic research.
Elin Haf Davis and Herdip Sidhu are making their final preparations before taking to the Atlantic in their 23ft rowing boat 'Dream Maker' on 2 December 2007.
The metabolic medicine specialists have been working hard in the run-up to the event, undertaking gruelling physical, psychological and navigation training for the past year, including running the London Marathon and cycling from London to Paris.
"The physical side doesn't worry us," said Elin. "Rowing is about 10 per cent of the challenge; the rest is coping with sea sickness, home sickness, sleep deprivation, hunger and always being wet and salty."
The duo will leave La Gomera in the Canary Islands and hope to arrive at Antigua in 55 days. They have the backing of Atlantic race veteran Ben Fogle, Olympian silver medal-winning rower, Debbie Flood, who is the team patron, and Transatlantic Row veteran and mentor, Ian Roots.
UCL's Professor Peter Clayton is also consultant in metabolic medicine at GOSH, is full of admiration for the determined duo: "Improved resources for our metabolic patients would lead to an improvement in their quality of life. Many of us just moan about not having the resources we would like. Herdip and Elin are doing something about it."
"Our primary focus is to raise £250,000 for Metabolic Research in the hospital to help improve the lives of patients with life-threatening metabolic disorders such as Cystic Fibrosis and Gaucher disease," said Herdip. This is an area that we both work in and feel very passionate about raising everyone's awareness about this disease area. We've never rowed before but we're determined!"
The UCL Institute for Child Health works in partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital to form an international centre of excellence for treating sick children and teaching and training children's specialists.
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Image: (Left to right) Herdip and Elin prepare for their challenge