Four friends plan 1,600km ride to raise funds for NKF

The Riding For Hope team that will make the 16-day cycling trip through the United Kingdom in July is made up of (from left) Mr Michael Ngu, Mr Tag Sin Siew, Mr Tan Ah Chwee and Mr Tee Lay Kern. They hope to raise $257,000 from the trip.
The Riding For Hope team that will make the 16-day cycling trip through the United Kingdom in July is made up of (from left) Mr Michael Ngu, Mr Tag Sin Siew, Mr Tan Ah Chwee and Mr Tee Lay Kern. They hope to raise $257,000 from the trip.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Four friends are embarking on a 16-day, 1,600km cycling trip through the United Kingdom in July to raise funds for The National Kidney Foundation (NKF).

They hope that their initiative, Riding For Hope, can raise $257,000, signifying their combined age of 257 years, for NKF.

The team comprises leader Tag Sin Siew, 60, a development manager; Mr Michael Ngu, 62, an architect; Mr Tee Lay Kern, 61, a former IT manager; and Mr Tan Ah Chwee, 74, who is retired.

Mr Ngu, whose legs are immobile due to childhood polio, will make his journey on the handcycle, which is powered by his arms.

Riding For Hope was launched yesterday at the official opening of the Admiralty branch of The Hour Glass-NKF Dialysis Centre, the first of two dialysis centres sponsored by The Hour Glass, which donated $2 million to NKF in 2015. The other centre is in West Coast. Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan was the guest of honour.

Both branches have 19 dialysis stations and can serve 114 patients.

Therapist assistant Vincent Tan, 51, who used to travel to Bukit Panjang for dialysis, now goes to the Admiralty branch, a mere five-minute walk from his home. "This centre gives me peace of mind since I don't have to rush," he said.

NKF, the biggest dialysis provider in Singapore serving some 4,300 patients, currently has 34 dialysis centres. Seven more are slated to be set up by 2020.

This comes amid an increasing prevalence of kidney failure. Five people are diagnosed with kidney failure in Singapore daily, up from four a day six years ago.

NKF hopes to increase live organ transplant numbers, which have remained stagnant.

Mr Tim Oei, chief executive officer of NKF, said: "There are some concerns surrounding live kidney transplant. People worry about the effects of the medication and that they cannot work after the transplant. NKF is here to allay those concerns by offering support to donors' medical cost and any loss in income they might suffer."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2018, with the headline 'Four friends plan 1,600km ride to raise funds for NKF'. Print Edition | Subscribe