Wurlee 545 has successfully raised funds & reached the goal amount. We thank all the 500 generous supporters for their kindness.
Dear Colleagues & Friends,
We have launched this campaign to seek your support for a noble and worthy cause. Ten of us, all amateur athletes, are coming together to cycle the 1,500 km distance between Delhi and Mumbai – non-stop! We’re doing this to raise funds for St. Jude India Childcare Centres – an organisation that is devoted to helping children who live below the poverty line fight cancer.
How you can extend your support
We ask you to pledge an amount per km of distance that we cover – for e.g.,
- Re 1 /$.015 per km will result in a Rs 1,500 / $22.5 pledge
- Rs 10/$0.15 per km will result in a Rs 15,000 / $225 pledge
- Rs 100/$1.5 per km will result in a Rs 150,000/$2,250 pledge and so on
None of your contributions will go towards the ride cost. The riders are covering all expenses themselves. So 100% of your donations will go directly for the benefit of the kids at St Jude’s. Please be generous in your support.
Why did we choose St. Jude India? After a lot of deliberation we came to this decision, its well-established model of cost-free, holistic care during the period of the child's treatment provides an avenue to optimize usage of the funds raised. Having seen such a great result of the last effort it seems like the natural choice given 2 out of 3 riders are there this time around as well!
Every child suffering from cancer, irrespective of economic status, deserves to get the best chance of surviving the disease and leading a full, healthy, happy life. St. Jude India makes sure that these young cancer fighters and their families are provided with all of this at their centres as well as the skills to continue living that way after finishing their treatment.
How St. Jude will utilise the funds
Cancer is devastating and every year, more than 50,000 children in India are diagnosed with it, many of whom are not able to afford medical treatment or the holistic care needed to recover from this. In Mumbai alone, the Tata Memorial Hospital treats 2,000 children every year, of which, 1,200 qualify for aid from St Jude’s. At present, St Jude’s is able to support only 90 children in Mumbai but has a goal to work with 255 patients by year end. By December 2016, St. Jude's will be able to look after 418 children and their parents across the country in 5 cities that, other than Mumbai, include Delhi, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hyderabad. By 2021, St. Jude's hopes to have 1000 children under their care pan India. The gap in funding to meet this goal is significant and this is where we can make a big difference.
Given this tremendous need, our target is to raise INR 15,000,000 or USD 225,000. We know many of you already support causes that you feel strongly about so we would really appreciate your generosity towards another important and timely initiative. The kids at St Jude’s need your help.
1. Arun Saigal
Arun Saigal, 33, is a banker by profession and has spent over 12 years at Barclays in Mumbai. He is, however, happiest either in the gym or in the outdoors, trekking, scuba-diving, rafting, motorcycling, or, of course, cycling. Arun started cycling on the back of inspiration from a couple of two riders in this group who rode non-stop from Mumbai to Pune and back for St Jude's. That, combined with the joy of being in the outdoors with like-minded people from different backgrounds is what gets him out of bed and on to the saddle at inane hours.
He is riding for St Jude's to try and make a small impact in highlighting and helping with a larger issue - the absence of healthcare affordability to a vast majority of people, especially children, in our country.
2. Jayesh Morvankar
Jayesh Morvankar (44), is the founder of Odati Adventures, a terrestrial adventure specialist firm with a presence across India, offering activities such as hiking, climbing and cycling. As the force behind Odati, Jayesh, quite understandably, is deeply immersed in adventure activities like trekking, mountaineering, rock climbing, cycling, caving, canyoning, rafting etc. Cycling is one of Jayesh’s primary passions, something he hasn’t given up since his school days. Jayesh feels very strongly about cancer, having seen this disease knock on the doors of many near and dear ones. He hopes that through Odati, he can spreading the word on the need for people to stay fit and make the right choices about health so as to reduce any possible encounter with the disease.
3. Nikhil Raghavan
Nikhil Raghavan, 41, is an outdoor enthusiast who loves running, cycling, swimming and any other activity that gets him into the open; on weekends, he enjoys being bullied by his kids at a game of squash or football. He is always up for an adventure or new experience. By profession, Nikhil is an investor with private equity firm Bain Capital. This cycling is trip close to Nikhil’s heart as it is an avenue for him to bring together his love of sport, belief that kids are our future, and desire to make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate. St Jude’s is a worthy cause that gives the very most unfortunate (poor children stricken by cancer) a fighting chance of a better life.
For your fun facts - Apart from the outdoors and spending time with family, Nikhil’s other passion is eating large quantities of refined sugar products – a hereditary trait carefully passed down the generations.
4. Abhay Nene
Abhay Nene, 43, is a Mumbai-based spine surgeon associated with Sportsmed, Wockhardt, Lilavati, Hinduja Surgical and Wadia Children’s hospital. Abhay loves challenges, the rush of adrenaline and believes in pushing himself beyond his perceived limits. His physical pursuits include running, cycling and mountaineering apart from cricket, tennis and badminton. He is riding for St Jude’s to make his contribution to making the world a better place for less fortunate children afflicted by cancer.
Fun fact – Abhay moonlights with his musician buddies in ‘The Flunkies’ on rhythm guitar/percussion/vocals.
5. Neil D'Souza
Neil D’Souza, 31, is an entrepreneur who runs an education startup - Zaya Learning Labs. Neil works with underprivileged children from around the world providing them with world-class learning using technology. He has lived and travelled to over 50 countries and his passion for travel and social impact led him to his calling today. From a very young age, Neil has loved endurance sports. Last year, he did his first Full Ironman Triathlon to bring in his 30th birthday. Neil's social life starts at 5:45 am in the morning when he cycles with the Wurlee545 crew and unfortunately ends at 7am. During his year long sabbatical from Cisco Systems in the US, Neil spent his time living with children in orphanages and understands the challenges a child has to go through without the right resources. Using his bike to amplify the amazing work St Jude's is doing combines two passions of his. Through his organization Zaya, he has already committed to support a technology enabled learning lab for 8 centers of St Jude's and hopes that this cycling trip with help raise awareness and the money needed to provide more children a better life.
Fun fact - As a 12 year old, Neil swam in a pool for 79 hours non-stop over 3 days to break a National Record.
6. Prashant Mehta
Prashant loves to cycle, compete in triathalons and play in the outdoors. In 2012, he and two friends, cycled non-stop from Mumbai to Pune and back (330kms) in 13 hours to support St. Judes Childcare Centres in India. When he is not outdoors, Prashant is chasing down the next big thing in technology. He is a founding partner of Lightbox, a venture fund focusing on early stage technology investments in India’s fast evolving internet ecosystem. Prior to Lightbox, Prashant was CEO of Komli Media, where he led a talented team to make Komli Asia’s leading advertising technology company.
Prashant was also at Yahoo! for over eight years, leading their Emerging Markets operations which spanned from Brazil and Argentina to India and SouthEast Asia. Prashant and the nine riders from the upcoming Delhi-Mumbai ride, recently endured a gruelling nine days in the Himalayas, cycling from Manali to Leh while crossing four of the world’s highest motorable passes. Prashant is 47 years old and lives in Mumbai with his wife and three amazing daughters!
7. Abhishek Kini
Abhishek Kini, 32, works as an orthopaedic surgeon, specialising in foot and ankle reconstruction at Sportsmed Mumbai. He started to ride less than a year back to get his mind back on fitness and cycling was the easiest way to ride back to good health being employed at Sportsmed, where cycles are discussed more than cars. He rides to keep company with his more active friends at work. He took up the challenge to ride in the Himalayas last year to test his inherent strength and having managed to do that, his friends have been egging him on to try something more severe. Abhishek believes in giving back to society and with this ride, aims to contribute in whatever way he can.
8. Jaideep Khanna
Jaideep Khanna, 50, is CEO & Country Head of Barclays India. An accidental banker – he never quite imagined he’d land up in a bank after completing a Masters in Applied Physics – he took to cycling six years ago after a dodgy knee forced him to give up running and squash. As an extreme cyclist, Jaideep’s love for the sport has taken him on cycling expeditions to the Himalayas, the Nilgiris and Italy. He has been a keen supporter of St Jude’s India Child Care Centres and has in the past raised funds for the organization by cycling non-stop the 330 km from Mumbai to Pune and back along with two other friends.
9. Rohit Kapur
Rohit Kapur, 50, is a former banker who worked as a mergers and acquisitions specialist for over 15 years on Wall Street. He is now based in Mumbai and is a consultant serving private equity investor clients at McKinsey & Co. Rohit has been inclined towards the outdoors since his childhood at a boarding school located in the hills near Shimla. Participating in any form of adventure activity from mountain climbing, rafting, skiing, running marathons, and triathlons is a part of his being . Cycling comes naturally to Rohit and he started cycling on a more regular basis approximately three years ago with Wurlee 545. He hopes to be able to bring to the attention of his friends and peers the plight of the less fortunate so that they may help St. Jude’s continue doing the wonderful work they are doing in this space.
10. Aditya Daftary
Aditya Daftary, 42, is a musculoskeletal radiologist at Innovision Imaging and SportsMed Mumbai. He took to cycling after a bad knee stopped him from running and playing squash. He now rides for the joy of being in the outdoors and riding with a great group of cycling buddies. Being a doctor, he sees the tremendous need and value in an organization like St. Jude's, which makes a huge difference to the care and outcomes for children with cancer.
Firstly, on behalf of everyone at St. Jude, we'd like to thank Prashant Mehta, Jaideep Khanna, Aashish Contractor, Nikhil Raghavan, Neil D’Souza, Rohit Kapur, Aditya Daftary, Abhay Nene, Arun Saigal, Jayesh Morvankar and Abhishek Kini for your magnificent support to our kids through the exciting and innovative “Ride to Raise” campaign!
We admire and salute your irrepressible spirit and kindhearted generosity in raising a handsome amount of Rs 1 crore 75 lakh (and counting) to help our kids fight their battle with cancer!
We'd also like to thank all the wonderful people who have extended such unconditional support to us. We are and will be forever grateful for such response. You truly are heroes and we look forward to your continued patronage.
That said, we at St. Jude are trying to fight a mammoth challenge, which can't be won without your precious support. We would sincerely request you to please share this campaign page with your network of family and friends. Any additional support that you and your network can provide will go a long way.
Every child suffering from cancer, irrespective of economic status, deserves to get the best chance of surviving the disease and leading a full, healthy, happy life. The amount raised will be used for covering the operating expenses of our existing centres and a new centre. St. Jude India makes sure that these young cancer fighters and their families are provided with all of this at their centres as well as the skills to continue living that way after finishing their treatment.
More power to you, guys!
In deep gratitude,
All of us at St. Jude India ChildCare Centres
At just a few minutes to go to 12 pm on Sunday, February 21, Wurlee 545 rode to the finish line at the Gateway of India. Cheered on by family, well-wishers and the kids from St. Jude, it was a moment complete with joy, emotion and happiness. For the 10 riders, that moment was nothing short of ecstatic. Who better to tell you than the riders themselves!
Rohit Kapur – “This was a special adventure on many dimensions. On the one hand, it tested the limits of our endurance and resolve to come back to the saddle to push towards a common goal and on the other, it was also a privilege to support an organisation that stands by helpless kids and families to help them accept and address an unfortunate and challenging situation. The "60 hours" brought together a community of friends, family and supporters who zealously motivated the riders to continue their efforts and also drew others into a web of positive support. The learnings for us were diverse - the beauty of our country and the warmth of its people, the unmatched potential of tapping the largesse and generosity of people to achieve a common goal and finally the ability to have fun doing all of this.”
Aditya Daftary – “What an experience. Pushing oneself to the limit and feeling good about it felt like nothing when I saw the smiles on the kids from St. Jude's faces. It's time we all tried to make a difference.”
Abhay Nene – “I couldn't have ever prepared for this - it's a once in a lifetime test of endurance, created specifically for the crazies of the world...racing at 30km/hr on the NH-8 from 1am to 5am wasn't my idea of 'fun'...but the purpose made this most challenging ride hard to give up on!”
Arun Saigal – “This ride made one realize the immense capacity within each one of us to rally together for a noble cause. What was most touching was the manner in which friends, family and well-wishers came together to support the cause we were riding for. A timely reminder of just how much we’re all capable of.”
Nikhil Raghavan– “This ride re-enforced in me the strength of willpower - none of us expected to be able to spend 20 hours on the bike in a 60 hour time period (we are not trained athletes), but when we had to do it, we found the will. It has also been humbling to see the generosity with which people have supported our ride and the St Jude’s cause; it makes you feel hopeful for the future.”
Prashant Mehta– “Nothing could be more fulfilling than raising money to give underprivileged children suffering from cancer a real fighting chance. And to do it by riding through extreme conditions – strong headwinds, in the dead of night, on roads that aren’t cycle-friendly -- with friends who share a common philosophy, is a true privilege. Experiences like this are a testament that we rarely tap the limits of our potential but when we do, the results are spectacular. By pushing our limits, our group already surpassed our goal of Rs. 1.5cr and hope to touch Rs. 2cr when all is said and done.”
Jaideep Khanna- "The ride was an experience of a lifetime. After have the idea brew for over three years, finally seeing it come to fruition and in such a comprehensive manner, was exhilarating. The fund raising target was exceeded, the ride went off flawlessly, the riders arrived in good shape having tested the limits of their physical ability – everything we could have hoped for came to pass. Most of all, I was overwhelmed by the affection, love and generosity that we saw from all we came into contact with."
Neil D’Souza- "The 60 hours seemed to pass way to soon and I am already having withdrawal symptoms. It was a great experience meeting supporters and children from St Jude's in Delhi at the start and reminding myself why I was doing this ride. I loved every bit of it; the uncomfortable camper to keeping up with the group battling head winds. The biggest accomplishment was being able to raise the money from friends and social media."
Jayesh Morvankar - "Yet another opportunity to prove that the body will go where the mind takes it. The ride, no matter how excruciating, was just a way to send a message to the world to say "yes, it's possible". The pain of the ride is only marginal compared to the agony of the kids who suffer from cancer at a young age; their parents rendered helpless due to their economic conditions. It was the .joy of giving' in the true sense. Seeing the Kids, parents and volunteers at the beginning and end was very emotional and truly offered a sense of purpose. The biggest achievement was in helping St Jude India Childcare Centres spread their wings and include many more needy kids of their care and support."
Wurlee 545’s mission through this race is to make a tremendous difference to the lives of Cancer-struck children of St. Jude’s hospital. Thanks to all the donors who supported this epic journey! They couldn’t have done it without you! Wurlee 545 and kids of St. Jude’s are very, very grateful! However, if you haven’t contributed, you can still be a part of their legendary movement as donations for their cause are open for 8 more days! Do help these amazing athletic superheroes out, and not to mention, thelittle children of St. Jude’s!