The Neonatal Trust is about to begin its biggest fundraising effort ever, the Ride4Life charity road cycle ride.
For three weeks a team of cyclists, including former All Black Christian Cullen, will put their lives on hold as they bike the length of New Zealand, aiming to raise $1 million for the trust.
Christian said with four children under five he had learnt very quickly how important healthy kids were, but many are not. Ten per cent of all babies born in New Zealand, about 6000 every year, find themselves in a hospital neonatal unit.
The Neonatal Trust supports their families during what can be a traumatic time, helps buy special equipment for neonatal care units and contributes to medical research.
The trust doesn't receive any government funding, and relies on donations, sponsorship and fundraising.
Meanwhile the big ride will start at Cape Reinga on Monday, ending in Bluff on March 15, with a core team of seven planning to go the whole distance. A team of around 30 collectors will travel with them to collect donations as they ride through towns and cities on the way.
The Ride4Life will culminate with an attempt to break the New Zealand 24-hour indoor velodrome record by former Neonatal Trust chairman Eugene Collins in Invercargill on March 15.
Further information can be found on www.ride4life.co.nz, where donations may also be made.