Supporting the family in green: medic cycles 150 miles for terminally-ill colleague
A medic from London Ambulance Service (LAS) has cycled from London to Cardiff and raised over £1000 to help a terminally-ill colleague make precious memories with his family.
Rob Lewis, who has worked as an Emergency Medical Technician at LAS for eight years, wanted to make a difference for his colleague Andy Hughes, who was diagnosed with stage-four brain tumour in July 2021. Andy worked for London Ambulance Service serving patients across the capital for over two decades, before having to retire due to ill-health.
The two frontline staff did not know each other on a personal level before the ride, but Rob said that learning about his colleague’s tragic news resonated with him and motivated him to make contact with Andy via a mutual friend. It was then that Rob decided to cycle to the Welsh capital in a challenge that attracted more than 50 donations.
Rob said: “Hearing that an LAS colleague in his forties, who has a lovely family, might not be able to enjoy life with them for much longer inspired me to dedicate my efforts to him.”
Sports-enthusiast Rob, who only recently turned 61, completed the London-Cardiff cycle as part of his ‘six for sixties’ challenge – a string of tough, fitness challenges that he intends to accomplish throughout his sixties.
Rob remarked: “originally, cycling 150 miles was meant to be a fun, fitness exercise, but I knew if I could fundraise for Andy that could mean more memorable experiences with his family.”
As well as the cycle to Wales, Rob has so far run a triathlon and rowed the length of the Channel on his rowing machine. A smaller part of the proceeds for these challenges have gone to the London Ambulance Service Charity, an arm of the organisation which raises funds to provide LAS patients and staff with additional facilities and initiatives.
Rob said: “I got involved with several initiatives run by the LAS Charity before and I wanted to continue to support the important work they do.
“Fundraising for them can improve our wellbeing and the care we deliver to our patients, so I encourage anyone who has this cause close to their heart to get involved.”
LAS Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles and Head of Charity Jessica Burgess met Rob in a heart-warming thank-you event last month, when Rob also handed in the £340 cheque to London Ambulance Service Charitable Fund.
Daniel Elkeles, CEO at London Ambulance Service, said: “Frontline staff are known for being extremely kind and compassionate people, but what Rob has done for his colleague is an example when kindness goes beyond the call of duty.
“I am so grateful for the donation to our charity and for his support to an LAS colleague, who has so sadly and unfairly been fighting a horrible disease. This is what team spirit really means!
“We send Andy and his family our warmest wishes and hope that Rob’s donation can help them build some special memories.”
If you’d like to help support London Ambulance Charity, please visit our website: https://www.londonambulance.nhs.uk/charity.