Serena Broadway was left numb with shock when she found out her friend’s newborn baby had died of a rare lung condition.
Now, in a bid to raise money for a charity which is trying to find a cure for alveolar capillary dysplasia, Serena is going to cycle hundreds of miles across Ireland.
The 30-year-old will be joined by her husband Andrew, 31, on the journey.
The couple will pedal from Malin Head, the most northerly point of Ireland, to Mizen Head, the most southernly point.
The challenge will see them cycle 60 miles a day over 10 days.
Serena’s friend, Amelia Lake, lost her 17-day-old son, David Ashwell, in March last year.
She then set up a charity in his name, the David Ashwell Foundation.
Sadly there isn’t a cure for alveolar capillary dysplasia, which restricts the airway to the lungs and stops people breathing.
Serena, from Fareham, first met Amelia when she worked at Northumbria University.
She now lives in Edinburgh, but her parents live in Portchester.
Serena says: ‘I was at work one day when I suddenly found out what had happened to Amelia’s baby.
‘I was in complete shock. I stopped what I was doing and didn’t move. It really hit me.
‘I don’t have any kids of my mine, but I can’t imagine how devastating it would be to lose a child.’
After hearing the news, Serena went on a cycling holiday with her husband across the north west Highlands in Scotland. It was during their time in the saddle that she realised doing a bike ride would be the perfect way of raising money.
‘I knew right away that I had to do something to help,’ she explains.
‘I hope Andrew and I can raise as much money as possible. It’s tragic that this condition is incurable.’
The couple have trained intensively for their challenge, but they haven’t quite been able to reach 60 miles in one day yet.
‘We know that it’s going to be incredibly tough,’ Serena says.
‘Amelia will be at the front of my mind the whole time. I’m going to have her name, her baby’s name and that of her husband, Simon Ashwell, written on my bike.
‘Whenever I start to struggle I’ll look down and realise the pain in my legs is nothing in comparison to what Amelia has gone through.’
For more information about the condition, visit acd-association.com.