Retired RSM US partner visits Birmingham Children’s Hospital as part of European charity bike ride

23 August 2023

Retired RSM US partner, Jim Clarahan, visited Birmingham Children’s Hospital this week, as part of his charity bike ride across Europe to raise awareness of children’s cancer.

Jim’s bike ride ‘Ride 4 Dray’ started on 1 May, with the goal of visiting nearly 40 countries in Europe, over 50 RSM offices and approximately 20 children’s hospitals, cancer treatment centres or foundations, on his Harley-Davidson. The total distance covered is expected to be 21,000 KM or 13,000 miles and will span across 120 days.

Ride 4 Dray is a charity set up by Jim to raise awareness and funds for the fight against paediatric brain tumours and cancer, by helping doctors diagnose kids early. The charity is in honour of his grandson Drayson who was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour in October 2019, and now aged five, continues to battle hard against cancer.

During Jim’s visit to the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, he and RSM UK’s regional managing partner in the Midlands Mark Taylor, were shown around the neurosurgery ward by consultant paediatric neurosurgeon Mr William Lo and met a number of patients who are currently fighting brain tumours. They were also able to hear about their latest intraoperative MRI (iMRI) appeal. The state-of-the-art iMRI technology ensures surgeons can obtain ‘live’ and up-to-date information about the position of the brain tumour. It is essential during surgical procedures, to allow neurosurgeons to accurately and confidently identify if they have removed all the tumour. The hospital needs to raise £1.5m to get access to the lifechanging technology. 

RSM Birmingham are long term supporters of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. Three members of RSM’s local team recently joined the 103 Colmore Row crew in the charity’s flagship Dragon Boat Race event. The group joined 49 teams from businesses across the West Midlands in rowing across the canalside at Mailbox Birmingham and raised over £9,000.

Mark Taylor, regional managing partner in the Midlands at RSM UK, said: ‘It has been fantastic to host our American colleague Jim during his time in Birmingham and show our support for Ride 4 Dray. Linking Jim with the fabulous team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital during his time here was the natural thing to do given the common effort in fighting children’s cancer.’

Jim Clarahan, retired partner at RSM US, said: ‘Birmingham is blessed to have the professional experts of the oncology department and neurosurgery team it has at BCH. Their passion, dedication and care for treating children afflicted with cancer is heartwarming and nothing short of first-class. Together we have an opportunity to influence and improve the level of care to other countries in Europe. I look forward to collaborating with them.’

Matt Mangan, director of philanthropy and partnerships at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, added: ‘We were thrilled to welcome Jim and Mark to our hospital to talk to them about the lifesaving work we do here. We are currently fundraising for an iMRI scanner, which will improve surgical outcomes for our brain tumour patients, which was of particular interest to Jim. We wish Jim the best of luck on the rest of his journey.’

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