A year ago I had the pleasure of meeting David Cole, Healthcare Innovation Lead at IBM Watson and co-founder of the charity 'Thinking of Oscar'. During the meeting I discovered that we had at least two things in common.
The first was a passionate interest in pediatric innovation, each for very personal reasons.
David and his partner Hannah established the charity 'Thinking of Oscar' five years ago in memory of their son 'Oscar', who tragically and suddenly died aged 16 months after a short illness (read more about Oscar's story here). Since Oscar's death David and Hannah have used funds raised through the charity to provide innovative products to children's hospitals across the UK, helping countless children benefit from technologies that the hospitals wouldn't otherwise be able to afford.
My interest in pediatric innovation will be well known by anyone who has been following developments at Corporation Pop over the last few years. In 2011 my then 13 year old daughter, Issy, was diagosed with cancer. Thankfully she had a very positive outcome and is now 7 years cancer free but her experience has led us at Corporation Pop to develop Xploro, a mobile app that uses augmented reality, artificial intelligence and games to provide children going in to hospital with prior information about the experience.
The other interest both David and I have in common is cycling, so when David said that he and Hannah were thinking of celebrating the 5th birthday of the charity with a fundraising long-distance cycle ride I was keen to get involved and so offered Corporation Pop's branding and web design services for free.
The plan was to set out from Oxford Children's Hospital (the hospital where Oscar was treated) and visit five other children's hospitals before returning to Oxford. It didn't take us long to realise that, for reasons of symmetry, the 5th Anniversary ride to the five hospitals had to be 500 miles long and take 5 days!
Our branding team set to work on a name for the ride and quickly came up with the blindingly obvious 'TOO500'. Next came the logo and then we embarked on the website – a simple site which will grow with content as the ride date approaches.
Fast-forward to January 2019 and I'm pleased to announce that the website we've built for the ride is now live.
You can register on the website to join David, Hannah, myself and many others – either for the whole ride or just for a one day stage. And if you feel like sponsoring me on the 500 mile epic then I would be delighted if you visited my justgiving page.
Meanwhile, I can currently be found on my turbo trainer, getting some winter miles in and desperately trying to get fit enough for the 12th June start date!