A team of doctoral students at UCL are running the Royal Parks Half Marathon this October. Luis C. Garcia-Perraza, Michael Ebner and Stefano Moriconi will be running to fundraise in support of Bliss at the upcoming race, a UK-based charity that helps babies born prematurely or sick and a key partner on their research project, GIFT-Surg.
GIFT-Surg (Guided Instrumentation for Fetal Therapy and Surgery) is a major, international research project developing novel ways to operate in-utero in order to alleviate problems which can occur during pregnancy such as poor organ growth or complications with twins sharing the same placenta. If conditions like these occur during fetal development it may lead to long-term health complications for the child. Bliss has supported the progress of the project to date by advising on research priorities, ethical considerations and outward communications through the project’s Patient and Public Involvement and Advisory Group.
The students are all studying at the UCL EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Imaging; a centre specialising in the latest imaging methodologies for healthcare. Their PhD projects are contributing to advances in the project such as clearer and more accurate internal visualisation for surgeons, vision-tracking software to target surgical tools during delicate keyhole procedures and bespoke pre-surgical planning using automatic analysis of MRI data.
They say “After meeting parents who have pregnancy complications through our research studies and hearing personal accounts from the advisory group we wanted to do more to support the patients. When we discovered Bliss had a charity team with the Royal Parks Half Marathon we put together an application straight away. Luckily, Bliss accepted our proposal and we’re now well under way to reaching our pledged target.
The team of runners have organised a Charity Quiz Night on Thursday 15th September 2016 which will be held at Mully’s Basement Bar. Tickets are £12 per person and cover a place in the quiz, entry to the raffle, a drink on arrival and complimentary nibbles. All proceeds from the event will support the charitable work of Bliss. Please visit the Event Page for details on how to buy a ticket.
The annual Royal Parks Half Marathon across central London began in 2008. The stunning 13.1 mile route takes in the capital’s world-famous landmarks on closed roads, and four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens. This year’s race will take place on Sunday 9th October.
Caroline Davey, Chief Executive of Bliss, said: “We are so grateful to Stefano, Michael and Luis and all the runners taking part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon to raise money for us. Their support is invaluable in helping us to achieve our ambition to reach every single baby born needing neonatal care in the UK and their family. We want every baby to benefit from our work, no matter how long they live or how long they spend on a neonatal unit.”
GIFT-Surg is based at the University College London (UCL) Institute of Healthcare Engineering and works in collaboration with KU Leuven, Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College London Hospital. The project is funded by the Wellcome Trust and the EPSRC under the Innovative Engineering for Health award and supported by the National Institute for Health Research University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre.
To support Stefano, Michael and Luis in fundraising for Bliss please follow the links below:
• Buy a ticket to the Quiz Night
• Donate directly through JustGiving
To find out more about Bliss and their work to improve fetal and neonatal healthcare, visit the Bliss website.