The Dentist Magazine.

Expect the unexpected

Published: 04/07/2017

Someone is diagnosed with blood cancer in the United Kingdom every 20 minutes. Henry Schein Ireland and BioHorizons UK and Ireland teamed up for a joint  charity cycle to raise awareness of blood cancer and the crucial work of DKMS, a global non-for-profit organisation that is dedicated to the fight against blood cancer through recruiting blood stem cell donors.

After Ken O’Brien, general manager of BioHorizons UK and Ireland, had completed a similar charity cycle in 2016, in favour of DKMS, he intended – together with Paddy Bolger, managing director of Henry Schein Ireland – to lead a group of ten volunteers who planned to cycle the length of Ireland from Mizen to Malin on June 21-24, 2017 – a distance of about 600 km. But it turned out differently than expected. Due to personal reasons and various injuries, the team was reduced to just one – Paddy Bolger. Nevertheless, Paddy accepted the challenge and decided to start on Thursday, June 22 and to finish on Friday, June 23. After 22-hours of cycling in two stages of 10 and 12 hours each, at an an average pace of 26kmh, he successfully completed the course. Paddy was accompanied by Ken O’Brien in a support vehicle, driving closely behind to ensure his safety. The vehicle had a banner to raise awareness of DKMS and carried a spare bike, wheels and supplies for the two-day event.

“Ken provided a lot of encouragement for me,” said Paddy. “We know that dentists play a fundamental role in the early diagnosis of leukemia as the first symptoms of disease amongst others occur in the oral cavity. So this is a perfect opportunity for professionals in dentistry of any kind to raise funds for DKMS. I just had to do it.”

In appreciation, Ken said, “I am very greatful that Paddy waved the flag and did the next step in what was started last year with our first DKMS charity cycle. This might turn out to be a Henry Schein/BioHorizons company tradition and the logical conclusion would be a tour around Ireland in 2018 – together of course – and hopefully with a great supporting team.” He added, “A lot of us may play an important role in helping save lives and, thanks to DKMS, it can be easier than one may expect.”

The vision of DKMS is to provide every blood cancer patient with a matching blood stem cell donor around the globe. Only one in three people in need of a transplant will find a suitable match within their own family.  Anyone in the UK aged between 17 and 55 and in general good health can register with DKMS by visiting dkms.org.uk/register-now

This initiative is part of Henry Schein Cares, the global corporate social responsibility program of Henry Schein. Henry Schein Cares stands on four pillars: engaging Team Schein Members to reach their potential, ensuring accountability by extending ethical business practices to all levels within Henry Schein, promoting environmental sustainability and expanding access to health care for underserved and at-risk communities around the world. Health care activities supported by Henry Schein Cares focus on three main areas: advancing wellness, building capacity in the delivery of health care services and assisting in emergency preparedness and relief. An important part of this work is raising awareness for cancer and cancer prevention and providing support for cancer patients and their families.

This challenge can be supported by sponsoring at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/BHHScharitycycleDKMS