The Dorabros, named after the Dorado fish, are four individuals united by a desire for adventure and a goal to raise money. James, Charles and Lirim initially met while attending St Benedict’s School in London, before James went on to study at Edinburgh University. This is where he met the fourth and final member Rufus; a passionate rower from Jersey.
We chose the Teenage Cancer Trust because all of our lives have been touched by cancer. We have lost friends, both at home and at school, and we want to support other people our age that are fighting this disease.
Now based in London and embarking on their individual careers, the boys were keen to come together to help people facing one of life’s greatest challenges. Cancer has played a prominent role in all of their lives and they decided it was time to help their friends and colleagues battling this crippling disease. Their plan was to undertake a series of demanding tasks throughout 2019 to raise awareness and sponsorship for the Teenage Cancer Trust. This included: swimming the Channel, completing an Ironman triathlon, cycling from Rome to London, running the Marathon des Sables (a 250km desert ultra-marathon) and row in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.
Their aim is to raise a minimum of £100,000 to finance and support a new unit for the Teenage Cancer Trust at London’s UCLH Cancer Centre. The boys regularly visit the hospital to spend time with young people receiving life-saving cancer treatment. By combining all of their fundraising events, they are hoping to maximise their efforts and raise as much money as possible.
Jack Wills are the official kit sponsor for the Dorabros as they prepare for their gruelling challenges. We have designed personalised casualwear for training sessions in the gym and in between trips. Each team member has been given a unique tee and hoody, as well as a selection of JW sliders and socks.
The boys have already completed two of their expeditions this year. The Marathon Des Sables took place back in April, in the scorching climate of Morocco. This ultra-marathon involved running across 251km of the Sahara Desert, and is known for being the world’s hardest footrace. It was the equivalent of six marathons across five days in 40-degree heat.
The second challenge was their self-entitled ‘Rome to Home’ cycle in July of this year. The Dorabros set off from Rome and cycled 2100km through the French Alps; finishing back in London eight days later. The boys told us they secured bananas to their bikes using Jack Wills sliders for a mid-journey snack!
Next up for the Dorabros is the Ironman challenge in Vichy, France. Set to take place on August 25th this year, this event involves swimming 3.8km in Lake Allier, cycling 180km through the countryside past Chaine des Volcans d’Auvergne, and finishing with a marathon through Vichy.
Back in the UK, the boys will be relay swimming across the Channel, starting in England and ending in France. This 21-mile swim will take place in September, requiring them to use goose fat as protection against the freezing waters.
The final challenge the Dorabros will take on is the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge in December. The boys will be rowing over 3000 nautical miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua and Barbuda. They’ll row for two hours then sleep for two hours, 24 hours a day until they arrive at the finish line. The race can take weeks, with last year’s entrants taking 34 to 70 days, and some not finishing at all.
Teenage Cancer Trust
Teenage Cancer Trust provides life-changing support and care to young people diagnosed with the disease. They currently have 28 specialist units across the UK and are the only charity providing specialist nursing care and support for young individuals with cancer. 118,000 young people are reached through presentations in UK schools. Their education team teaches young people how to spot the signs of cancer and attempts to break the stigma of talking about it. They also launched Hair4U, so all patients in their units have the option to choose a real hair wig, free of charge.
One of the many projects the boys want to support with the money they raise is the use of ‘chemo backpacks’, a method that allows the treatment to be given while on the move, rather than patients being restricted to the hospital ward.
For the Dorabros, they believe that anyone who has suffered from cancer has faced more than anything the Sahara and Atlantic can throw at them. They are racing for those who can’t. At Jack Wills, we are delighted to be teaming up with such an inspirational group and will be sharing their upcoming adventures. We wish them the best of luck!