A Rickmansworth resident has raised more than £50,000 by taking on a 2650-mile trip from London to Beirut, to support a cause which is close to his heart.
Eddie El Lamaa was born in Lebanon and moved to the UK with his parents when he was three years old and watching the Beirut explosion that happened in August had a huge impact on him.
Despite not being a regular cycler, On August 12, Eddie made the decision to cycle from the United Kingdom to Beirut to raise money for the Beirut Emergency appeal to help those who have been directly impact by the explosion.
Speaking to RickyNews from Turkey while on his journey, Eddie said: “The terrible tragedy felt personal to me and my family, so it was purpose driven from the beginning. I was desperate to do something to help these kids and families out. I wanted to challenge myself and do something that would raise a lot of money.
“I’m not an athlete by any means, so the 10-12 hours a day cycling does take its toll, and the only thing that’s keeping me on this bike is purpose.”
Eddie lives in Rickmansworth with his wife, Chloe, and three children, Christian, Rafael and Gabriel, and admits the toughest thing about the task is being away from his family.
He added: “So far, the toughest part of being away is not being with my family, I’ve missed some special occasions including my son’s first birthday, so that was tough.
“We’ve tried to make the journey as pleasurable as possible, but there’s no denying it’s been very tough, and I don’t think I’d do it again!
“I’ve never done anything like this before, there’s been a few injuries and I’ve had to get a replacement bike on the way but the support from the whole community has kept me going. This is something I never in my wildest dreams would have thought of doing.
“I feel great that we’ve nearly reached the end and I can’t wait to see the family. Hopefully this can inspire more people to do something for a cause they’re passionate about.”
Eddie’s JustGiving page is still open for donations, and still hopes to reach his personal target of £250k.
To support the cause, head to justgiving.com/fundraising/rideforlebanon.