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Raising vital funds for seriously ill children and their families, more than 20 business executives from Sydney are about to tackle a gruelling 1,000km bike ride through scenic South Australia from the 7th to 13th of April 2018.  

For the 168 hours they will spend on the road, each rider will push themselves to their physical limits as they aim to reach a $500,000 fundraising target for children in hospital and pregnancy research.

Every year 4.9 million babies are born with a birth defect worldwide and one in four women suffer a miscarriage in Australia. In South Australia alone, four families are affected by congenital heart disease every week.

Boosting awareness, the seven-day Chain Reaction Challenge will start in Adelaide, then continue through the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Murray River, McLaren Vale and Victor Harbour, before the riders return to the city on Friday 13 April.

Organised by the Chain Reaction Challenge Foundation, the annual rides have already raised nearly $25million for various charities helping sick kids around Australia since 2007.

For the seventh year in a row, the NSW chapter of the Chain Reaction Challenge has pledged its support to the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. This generous commitment is helping fund a world first double pregnancy discovery, which has the potential to prevent recurrent miscarriages and multiple types of birth defects globally.

 “We cannot find a cure for these families without medical research. Research isn’t fast, it’s not easy and it’s not cheap. But, we’ve been really fortunate to have philanthropic funding from Chain Reaction. With its help, they have enabled us to keep this research going, which makes historic discoveries possible,“ explained head researcher, Professor Sally Dunwoodie.  

Building on the next stage of this breakthrough, Professor Dunwoodie and her team are developing a standard diagnostic test to identify the women and their babies at greatest risk.

“Most young children diagnosed with congenital heart disease are usually sentenced to multiple open-heart surgeries and long hospital stays. Initiatives like the Chain Reaction Challenge enable us to continue doing lifesaving research, which promises to help thousands of children and their families,” added Professor Dunwoodie.

Now for the first time, Chain Reaction will also be supporting Starlight Children’s Foundation, with funds raised going towards its national hospital programs.

Captain Starlight and the Starlight Express Rooms were developed to complement the Australian healthcare system in partnership with leading health professionals, by providing a treatment-free respite for seriously ill children and their families.  

In Adelaide alone, there are over 1,200 monthly visits by children and their families to the Starlight Express Room at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital; and for children too sick to leave their beds, Starlight supports over 500 monthly Captain Starlight ward visits, turning pain, fear and stress into joy, fun and laughter.

With a common goal of helping seriously ill children, both charity organisations endeavour to change the lives of struggling families.

The Chain Reaction Challenge begins in Adelaide on Saturday 7 April 2018. For more information and to get behind Chain Reaction, click here

About the Chain Reaction Challenge Foundation

Chain Reaction is the Ultimate Corporate Bike Challenge that raises money for sick children by challenging senior executives who have a passion for cycling and an awareness of their corporate social responsibilities, to ride a 1,000 plus kilometre course in seven days.

Chain Reaction is not a mass-participation event; instead it concentrates on selected individuals who want the physical challenge. In return, they benefit from valuable networking opportunities and the immense satisfaction of directly helping sick children. Since its first ride in 2007 Chain Reaction has raised $24,539,281 on behalf of its charity partners.