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Plymouth-Banjul Challenge - Transplant Titans

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The Plymouth-Banjul Challenge started in 2003 as an ironic tribute to the Paris-Dakar Rally. Instead of highly expensive cars driven by world class rally drivers, with large back-up teams, this challenge consists of small teams on strictly limited budgets, and at the end of the challenge, the cars are auctioned for the benefit of local good causes. Teams in previous challenges together raised nearly 20,000 for Pageant, as well as helping us in other ways. See summaries of the  2006 and 2007 Challenges for further details, and see our 2008 Challenge summary for information about other teams helping Pageant.

Team Transplant Titans (T8903) consisted of Hany Riad and Titus Augustine, who are transplant surgeons at Manchester Royal Infirmary. They were in Group 9 of the 2008 Plymouth-Banjul Challenge, and left for The Gambia on 11 January 2008. As well as helping Pageant, they raised funds for transplant research projects.

On this and associated pages

The Team Biographies of Hany and Titus; their back-up team
The Vehicle Toyota 4Runner 4 wheel drive
The Good Causes Money raised will be used 50/50 to help Kings Kid Academy in The Gambia and the Transplant Unit Endowment Research Fund in Manchester
Fundraising How the team are raising money for the good causes above
  Charity Night Event at the Living Room, which raised over 7000
Progress Reports Day by day reports on the team's  progress.
Donations The online donation facility is now closed, but you can still help
Sponsors People and organisations who have helped Transplant Titans

The Team

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Hany Riad

Hany Riad

Has Pharaoh's blood running in his veins. Hany was born and brought up in Egypt and completed his undergraduate medical education at Cairo University then moved to the UK as a junior doctor. His first Consultant post was in Exeter in 1992 then moved to Manchester Royal Infirmary 4 years later as Consultant Transplant Surgeon. His special interests are paediatric transplantation and transplant research. He was a member of the council of the British Transplantation Society and was a member of its working party on organ donation. He also served on the Society's training committee. At present he is an examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons.

"I always led a quiet life and my spare time is spent either with my family, socialising with friends or relaxing in my apartment in Spain. It had never occurred to me that one day I would be taking part in such an adventure but when my colleague Titus came up with the idea the temptation was such that I could not turn it down. I hope we can make a little difference to the people of Gambia, build up some useful charitable links and come back with lots of stories to tell."

Titus Augustus

Titus Augustine

Does not have the blood of Caesar Augustus in his veins but hails from South India. After studying in a missionary school in the tropical rain forests of Borneo, he moved back to India and Bangalore for medical training. After postgraduate surgical training and a two year stint in rural India, he came to the UK in 1992 and became a Consultant Transplant and Endocrine surgeon at Manchester Royal Infirmary in 2000. He is a member of the UK Pancreas Task Force and a British Transplant Society training committee member. His special interests are pancreas transplantation and laparoscopic (keyhole) kidney donation.

"I came across the Plymouth Dakar Rally in a flight magazine and it immediately caught my fancy. I also knew immediately that Hany would be the best person for company if we broke down and had to walk the Sahara! I find that the world has become such a small place with air travel and the spirit of the Plymouth Banjul rally with a combination of adventure and charity had me hooked immediately. In the process we hope to do our little bit for charity in the Gambia and increasing awareness of transplantation and organ donation."

The back-up team

Transplant Titans have a team of enthusiasts who are kindly helping them with organisation and fund raising in their own time, including their PAs Simone Williams and Trisha Dowdall in the Transplant Office at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

The vehicle

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The car is a Toyota 4Runner Hilux Surf SR5 in metallic red. (see Wikipedia entry for details)

It is an automatic, left-hand-drive 1995 model with 72,000 miles on the clock. It's a high specification version with such refinements as: privacy glass; air conditioning; alloy wheels; electric mirrors, windows and sunroof.

The car was donated by a company called Synergy through a gentleman by the name of Gareth Evans.

Transplant Titans Car >>

Transplant Titans Car

The good causes

Kings Kid Academy

Transplant Titans' chosen Pageant project is the Kings Kid Academy, a nursery school near Lamin south west of Banjul. In the 2007 Plymouth-Banjul Challenge, Desert Mice & First to the Bar raised around 3000 for Kings Kid. The Transplant Titans hope to help Pageant carry on with this good work. Headmaster Jacob Amadi has emailed to say "We are very excited to know that Transplant Titans will be coming to The Gambia and that you have approved that the funds raised by them during their campaign will be used for King's Kid Academy. We shall tell the children about their upcoming visit and we shall as usual give them an exciting welcome. We shall in our own little way pray for their journey mercies and safe arrival to The Gambia." You can find out more about Pageant's work just by looking at our website. If you aren't familiar with what we do, then start by looking at our Projects page.

Transplant Unit Endowment Research Fund

As well as helping Pageant, Hany and Titus will be raising funds for their own Transplant Unit Endowment Research Fund. They are both senior consultant transplant surgeons working at Manchester Royal Infirmary in the UK's largest Kidney and Pancreas transplant unit. Their professional interests include kidney and pancreas transplantation in adults and children and keyhole surgery for living kidney donors. They are also involved in a significant amount of transplant research. The Manchester transplant unit provides kidney transplantation for the whole of the North West and Pancreas transplantation for a wider area that includes, Yorkshire and North Wales. In 2008 the unit will celebrate it's 40th anniversary and possibly it's 4000th transplant. The charitable fund facilitates different transplant research projects at Manchester Royal Infirmary, and one of the current projects is research into constructing a functioning human pancreas from transplanted embryonic pancreas tissue as a cure for diabetes.


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Hany and Titus decided to personally cover all their travel costs, so everything raised by sponsorship and fundraising events could be split equally between Pageant and the Transplant Endowment Fund. They kicked off their fundraising with a charity event in Manchester described below. By June 2008, with fundraising essentially completed, almost 4000 had been raised for Pageant projects at Kings Kid Academy. By the end of September, Pageant received the final payment, bringing the grand total for Pageant to 4180.73. All of this is being spent on the new classroom block at Kings Kid Academy. Pageant would like to say a big thank you on behalf of headmaster Mr Jacob Amadi and all the pupils. Pippa and Ian will be visiting KKA in October, where they expect to see great progress.

Charity Event - Sights, Sounds and Tastes of the Plymouth to Banjul Rally

The charity night, which took place at the Living Room, Deansgate, Manchester on 28th November 2007 was a roaring success. The whole night was themed with food and entertainment particular to each country we would be going through. Paul Lockitt from Key 103 introduced the night, while Justin Moorhouse, also from Key 103, set the stage with a comedy sketch about Hany and Titus and the rally. It then moved on to France with a dazzling presentation by a group of can-can dancers. Spain entertained with a flamenco group and Morocco with a belly dancer. The night culminated with an African band playing traditional African music. In true Living Room style, the menu was a sumptuous mix of dishes from the different countries. The hall was packed to capacity and everyone went away having had a great time. Over 7000 was raised.

Hany being interviewed by Paul Lockitt

Titus and Hany

Hany being interviewed by Paul Lockitt

Titus and Hany at the event

can-can dancers

belly dancer

can-can dancers

belly dancer

Justin Moorhouse conducting the raffle

Transplant Titans team and back-up

Justin Moorhouse conducting the raffle

Transplant Titans team and back-up

Progress Reports These are on their own Progress Reports Page


Pageant is a UK Charity - Registered No 1093963

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