A nurse cycles for fistulas

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Guest post by Dr Gracie Vivian.

My name is Gracie Vivian, I’m a doctor working at Princess Margaret Hospital in WA. Together with my boyfriend Bruno Cordier, a palliative care nurse, we are seeking the support of midwives, nurses, doctors and obstetricians for a fundraiser that represents the ultimate in outdoor adventuring and a cause that’s very relevant to the great work you do.

This involves Bruno taking a solo bike ride without a support vehicle across Australia from Sydney to Perth (via Adelaide) over five weeks in summer, commencing on 11 January 2013. The event is called Cycling for Fistulas and the funds raised will go
to Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia.

Gracie and Bruno

As you may be aware, Dr Catherine Hamlin, an Australian obstetrician started and continues to run six hospitals in Ethiopia where women who have suffered horrific birthing injuries such as the obstetric fistula are able to access surgery and rehabilitation.

Having been inspired on a recent visit to one of Dr Hamlin’s hospitals in Ethiopia, we decided to assist her by staging this event to raise awareness as well as $20,000 to fund treatment and train midwives so that this entirely preventable condition can be avoided.

Bruno will cross Australia on on his bicycle ‘Jimmy’ in the middle of summer – solo and without a support vehicle! His rough route is as follows: Sydney to Mildura, Port Augusta and Adelaide in South Australia before entering the Nullarbor Plain, which will be the most trying part of the journey. The Nullarbor is a 1100km stretch of flat, arid country where he will face extreme heat and distances of up to 200km with no facilities in sight. Bruno will then enter WA and cycle to Perth. Aiming to arrive by Valentine’s Day, Bruno has five weeks to complete this ~4500 kilometre adventure of a lifetime! In the estimated 34 days it takes him to ride from Sydney to Perth, over 46,500 women in Africa will die from pregnancy and childbirth complications.

We hope you agree this is a worthwhile cause and will consider supporting us in one of the following ways:

– Making a donation (all donations are tax deductible)

– Promoting and attending our movie fundraiser Skyfall at Windsor Cinema, Nedlands (WA) at 6.30pm on 17 December 2012. RSVP and pay for tickets via email ($25 each)

– Share this story with your friends in order to raise awareness

– Telling your boss (perhaps they’d like to sponsor us).

– Starting a collection tin in your workplace.

Contact us at: cyclingforfistulas@gmail.com or go to our Facebook page and share that with your friends.

Also read: International Midwives, about an Australian midwife who ran a half-marathon in support of Dr Hamlin’s work.

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