Volunteer cyclists raise $210,000 for needy kidney dialysis patients

Volunteer cyclists return after completing their 1000km ride from Penang, Malaysia to Singapore as part of the 6th Kidney Dialysis Foundation Millennium Ride organized in aid of low-income dialysis patients on Jan 14, 2019.
Volunteer cyclists return after completing their 1000km ride from Penang, Malaysia to Singapore as part of the 6th Kidney Dialysis Foundation Millennium Ride organized in aid of low-income dialysis patients on Jan 14, 2019. ST PHOTO: SAHIBA CHAWDHARY

SINGAPORE - A total of $210,000 has been raised by non-profit cycling group Epic Cyclist for this year's Kidney Dialysis Foundation (KDF) Millennium Ride event.

The team of 50 volunteer cyclists covered a distance of 1,000km over five days, clocking about 9 hours of non-stop cycling on average every day.

The ride started in Penang, Malaysia last Thursday (Jan 10) and finished at the Singapore Island Country Club on Monday (Jan 14).

The amount, which is expected to be matched by the Tote Board, will go towards funding about 1,400 dialysis sessions for needy patients under KDF's care.

Senior Minister of State for Health, Dr Amy Khor, who was guest of honour at the closing ceremony of the event on Monday, said that there is a need to support those living with chronic kidney disease in achieving good control of their condition and other risk factors, to prevent the progression to kidney failure.

She said: "The Ministry of Health has been working with the polyclinics to implement a national chronic kidney disease prevention programme called HALT-CKD, which stands for Holistic Approach in Lowering and Tracking Chronic Kidney Disease. The programme aims to prevent or slow down progression to kidney failure in diabetics, through better control of their diabetes and other chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure, as well as optimising the use of kidney protective medications."

Dr Khor also cited an increase in the proportion of new dialysis patients who took up peritoneal dialysis (PD), or water dialysis, as an alternative to blood dialysis. This figure increased from 18 per cent in 2013 to 22 per cent in 2017.

"MOH has been working closely with our healthcare partners to encourage medically suitable patients to choose peritoneal dialysis. PD offers clinical benefits such as a lower risk of blood borne disease transmission, fewer dietary restrictions and less medications, as well as lifestyle benefits such as greater flexibility for patients in their daily activities."

A mother of two who works as a secretary in the healthcare industry, Mdm Lee Pei Sze, 45, has taken part in the yearly charity event since 2015.

She said: "I didn't know how proud and supportive my kids were of me until last year, I found out that my 15-year-old daughter had presented the Millennium Ride event to her classmates for a project where she had to describe what her parents do. It gave me a sense of satisfaction for me to show her that you can do good while pursuing your interests."

Members of the public can donate at https://kdf.give.asia/campaign/kdf-millennium-ride-2019-1446.