A retired GP, Dr Mike Bloomfield, is challenging himself to walk 500km over 100 days for leading Welsh charity City Hospice.
The 69-year-old co-founded City Hospice, formerly George Thomas Hospice Care, and remains a Vice President of the charity which provides palliative care for 550 patients with life-limiting or terminal illnesses in Cardiff at any one time.
Dr Bloomfield, who has previously had both hips replaced and quadruple bypass surgery, set himself the physical challenge to raise funds for the charity at a time when its shops are closed and fundraising events are postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, in self-isolation at home, Dr Bloomfield is exercising in his house and garden, planning to walk a total of 5km each day.
The 500km target is highly significant for the retired doctor, being the equivalent of walking from Cardiff to St Christopher’s Hospice in Sydenham, London and back. As a medical student in 1972, Dr Bloomfield visited St Christopher’s and met Dr Cicely Saunders, a pioneer of hospice care. The visit inspired him to ensure that this care would one day be available in Cardiff, leading him to co-found the charity around a decade later.
Dr Bloomfield said:
“Our hospice team remain in the community, looking after patients in their homes whilst working within the current guidelines. I felt that I wanted to do something to help so I decided to take on the challenge of a 500km walk over 100 days.
“Myself, and many others, have spent a great deal of our own time and worked tirelessly over several years to establish this charity and the excellent service it provides today. It’s important to me to try to reduce the financial impact caused by this terrible pandemic.”
Liz Andrews, Chief Executive at City Hospice, said:
“This is such a fantastic challenge that Mike has set himself. As a co-founder of City Hospice 36 years ago and current Vice President, I know how much the vital care we provide to patients facing terminal illness, means to Mike. We are grateful for his continued support which means so much to us especially during this difficult time. We wish Mike all the best with this incredible challenge.”
Dr Bloomfield aims to complete his challenge by 18th August. Donations to support his challenge can be made on his JustGiving page.