Babington, associate director, Global Procurement, External Manufacturing, based in Dublin, does not hesitate. He puts on his helmet, vest and other special gear and prepares for a 116-km (72-mile) motorcycle ride to South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen, the only human milk bank hospital in Ireland. He collects the supply of breast milk, a bag of about 30 bottles packed in ice, and rides 175 km (107 miles) to the outskirts of Dublin, where he hands it off to another rider who delivers it to the maternity hospital.
By the time he returns home, Babington has logged more than 347 km (216 miles) in just under five hours – and he is ready for the next call-out.
Babington has been making deliveries like that for the past three years, ever since joining the Cú Chulainn Blood Bikes (CCBB), a charity transportation service that utilizes volunteer motorcycle riders to pick up and deliver urgently needed blood and blood products, human tissue, human breast milk, patient files, x-rays and, more recently, COVID-19 samples.
“It’s a wonderful feeling knowing I’m helping a local hospital and ultimately, patients, by volunteering my time through CCBB. I am grateful to help any way I can,” said Babington, a 24-year veteran rider, who was inspired to volunteer with the group after his father became ill with leukemia and needed blood on a regular basis.