Henry, aged 5, decided that he wanted to "help fix a child's heart" and he talked to us about how he could do it. We discussed fundraising, sponsorship, etc. and before we knew it Henry was determined to raise enough for one heart operation.
He chose something that would be a challenge, but that he had a chance of succeeding at. A few days later Henry was asking everyone he knew for sponsorship and a couple of weeks later he went on his 40 kilometre bike-ride.
With his previous best about 4 hours and 15 minutes, his target was 4 hours but on the day he rode faster than we have ever seen before! He took only 2 rest-breaks because he knew that the faster he was, the more he would raise, and he finished in 2 hours and 55 minutes!
Henry has asked us lots of questions about who chooses which child to get an operation and what happens to the child that is number two on the list. With this in mind, he's already decided to get others to join him and next year to double the amount raised so that two heart operations can be funded.
The enthusiasm of our supporters is highly valued by Heart to Heart Shanghai as it helps us fulfil our Mission and gives all our Volunteers encouragement to strive to do even more for the wonderful young children we help.
Unfortunately space limits us from recording all of the efforts of all our very special Big-Hearted Supporters but we do want to share some insights of how some of these special supporters have helped us:
Henry handed over the money he raised to Christine Cullen, Founder and Executive Director of Heart to Heart Shanghai this week with a huge smile on his face - but still no idea why people have been so surprised by his achievement.
Henry also wrote a thank you message for his school, DUCKS:
Thank you to everybody who sponsored me and who came to see me on Sunday.
Thank you to Tom Holgate in year 3 and the five grown-ups who came with me.
We cycled 40 kilometres in 2 hours and 55 minutes and will have more than RMB25,000 for Heart to Heart Shanghai so one child can have their heart fixed.
Footnote by Christine Cullen:
Henry's ride has been an inspiration to us all. He is truly an amazing young boy who decided to "make a difference" to a young Chinese child's life.
To view photographs of Henry Macpherson's Ride in our flickr photostream, click here.
We look forward to introducing Henry to his sponsored child when the child is admitted for heart surgery and we know that a very special bond will be forged between the two of them. With such determination and stamina we are sure that one day Henry will cycle for his country in an Olympic Games and that he will develop into a man who always does his best for those less advantaged than he is.
We thank Henry, his loving family and all of his sponsors from the bottom of our hearts and look forward to cheering him across the finish line on his next fund-raising bike-ride!
Henry's heart surgery sponsorship will not only be life-saving but also life-changing for a young child of his age. Henry has proved that no matter what your age, you can always do something to help those less fortunate than yourself — all you have to have is a heart and some determination!
Christine Cullen June 2007