Helle Sorensen, Communications Officer

in conversation with


Caroline Race, Fundraiser

Caroline Race raised a staggering total of £1,234.23 for an Acute Respiratory Distress Syndome (ARDS) project supported by the Intensive Care Foundation. Caroline Race, fundraiser for the Intensive Care Foundation, wears a happy, albeit exhausted, look on her face these days. Caroline walked from coast to coast in 8 days unsupported, with a tent and everything on her back: “I didn’t really appreciate the scale of what I was doing until I started the walk. Other people told me they were all taking at least 11 days to complete it and had their gear shipped around by a van. They told me I was crackers!”

With only 10 days holiday Caroline had to condense the walk into a shorter time. She did not have the money to spend on accommodation so chose to camp and carry her things with her. At some point her knees had started to inflame: “It was very painful, and I was worried I would not be able to continue”.

At that point she was joined by her friend Michelle, who inspired Caroline to fundraise. “Michelle lost her Dad to ARDS and had done Marathon de Sables to fundraise. I lost my Dad to cancer a couple of years ago and I know what it is like to lose someone close too early in life. I am deeply inspired by Michelle’s attitude to life and the endurance events she puts herself through”. Walking with Michelle gave Caroline the strength to continue. “Plus it was great to have other humans to converse with instead of sheep and cattle”, Michelle adds.

The ARDS study

Caroline’s funds will go towards Professor McAuley’s ARDS study that aims to develop new treatments for ARDS. ARDS is a life threatening condition that affects up to 20% of all critically ill patients in ICU. In severe illnesses, such as pneumonia or following a road traffic accident, people develop life-threatening lung problems. For reasons that are unclear their lungs fail, which makes breathing difficult. These patients require life support machines (ventilators) to assist breathing within the ICU.

Studies have suggested that although ventilation is a life-saving intervention, it can also cause damage to the lungs and prevent healing and repair. The aim of Professor McAuley’s research is to find out why ARDS occurs and use this information to develop new drugs that can then be tested in clinical trials. Previous trials have looked at new treatments including aspirin and simvastatin for ARDS.

Read more about the study here.

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