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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 18 October, 2019
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Group of bikers ride across Ireland donating equipment to neonatal units

The group has raised €55,000 to purchase equipment to donate and to sponsor a new room at Ronald McDonald House in Dublin.

A GROUP OF bikers have been traveling across the country over the last two days delivering medical equipment they raised money for to neonatal units.

Bikers Ride Out for Prems, which is made up of members of a motorbike club called Blue Daos LEMC and some volunteers, was established in 2014.

The charity raises funds all year for its ‘Ride Out’ to deliver equipment to as many neonatal units as the budget allows. This year the bikers worked with the Ronald McDonald House charity, which provides accommodation to the families of children who are in hospital. 

The Miles for Smiles fundraiser raised €55,000 in total to purchase equipment for 14 neonatal units across the country and to sponsor a room in Ronald McDonald House in Dublin. 

Sean Brennan of Bikers Ride Out For Prems told TheJournal.ie they are donating hospital grade breast pumps, bottle warmers, breast feeding chairs, a light source unit used to illuminate the chest of newborns so their lungs can be checked, a vein finder, a photo-therapy unit and resuscitation dolls for training. 

A group of 17 bikers left Dublin on Thursday and at the border were joined by 26 bikes from Blood Bikes North. The PSNI escorted them to the Enniskillen newborn intensive care unit (NICU) in Fermanagh. 

“It’s the first time we’re doing a cross border initiative and helping out Enniskillen NICU and the Human Milk Bank, who supply life supporting breast milk all across Ireland and Northern Ireland,” Brennan said. 

miles for smiles Staff at Holles St hospital in Dublin accepting the donated equipment. Source: Ronald McDonald House Charities Ireland via Facebook

“Some off our members have been touched by a premature birth or know someone who has. Our secretary and her husband have seven premature babies and she was nominated Mother of the Year 2015 with the Maternity and Infant Awards.

She joined us in 2015 and has been the engine behind the charity, and through her hard work and effort we gained charitable status in 2017.

The group is more than halfway through the Ride Out now and will finish up at Ronald McDonald House in Dublin tomorrow afternoon. 

“When you have a baby in NICU it affects a whole family and a wider community so when this touches your life and you see first hand how a NICU can save a life, you want to do everything in your power to pay it forward be it volunteering or donating,” Brennan said.

“The effects of a premature baby does not always end once you leave the unit, some premature babies have illness’s and disorders that affect some or all off their lives and the next stage is a children’s hospital like Crumlin, or Temple Street and that is why we jumped at the opportunity to help the Ronald McDonald House Charity and to do Route 66 for Temple Street.”

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