A Rutland businessman, has embarked on an unsupported row across the Atlantic in honour of his late daughter, who passed away from an undiagnosed heart condition at the age of 25.
Andrew Osborne is using the row to raise funds for the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young), which offers lifesaving screenings to over 30,000 young people (aged 35 and under) a year. Nottinghamshire-based HR, payroll and finance specialists, MHR, have pledged a contribution of £40,000 towards Mr Osborne’s fundraising efforts.
Throughout the mammoth 70-day journey, Mr Osborne will consume upwards of 5,000 calories per day from food usually eaten by astronauts, and 20 litres of salt water will need to be desalinated daily for washing and drinking. While rest will be vitally important, Mr Osborne will have to completely adjust his body clock, trading his normal sleeping pattern for split intervals of four hours on and four hours off.
Mr Osborne’s 3000-mile crossing is the culmination of months of training, which has included at least two hours on a rowing machine every single day as well as a bi-weekly run. Olympic gold medal winner James Cracknell completed the same challenge with Ben Fogle in 2006, and has been a great help to Mr Osborne, warning him that the mental challenge is going to be much greater than the physical.
“Rowing alone for 3000 miles with 3 miles of the Atlantic below me and the nearest person to me being on the international space station, it’s a daunting prospect but I’m excited to get rowing for CRY and for my daughter Amy,” he said.
“When Amy died it was devastating for our family and friends around her, especially as there were no warning signs. She was young and healthy, and her death was completely unexpected. During that time, and since, we have received incredible support from our friends, family, community, and CRY. Through their support, we learnt more about their vital work and wanted to do more to not only fundraise to save more young people’s lives but also to bring awareness of this tragic condition that can be prevented if tested.
“We set up Amy‘s memorial fund within the CRY charity and raised enough to test over 500 children so far. I would now like to be able to raise funds to increase the number of young adults screened substantially and to help with awareness and research into the condition.”
Every week, 12 fit and healthy young people in the UK die suddenly from an undiagnosed heart defect. In 80% of these cases, there will have been no signs or symptoms until it is too late.
A day of CRY screening costs approximately £6,000. The money raised by ‘Row for Amy’ can significantly help with these costs.
Jessica Mills, Chairman at MHR comments, “We wish Mr Osborne the best of luck as he embarks on this formidable challenge, and are proud to be supporting his efforts and the incredible work done by CRY. Mr Osborne’s story has resonated strongly with MHR and our values, particularly as an East Midlands-based business, and we sincerely hope that our contribution will make a huge difference to young girls like Amy and their families. We will be following Mr Osborne’s journey closely and wishing him on his way as he makes the world a better place one stroke at a time.”
To support the Row for Amy endeavour, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rowforamy