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raised by 57 supporters
john daffurn avatar
john daffurn

Stamford to Saigon

Fundraising for DEBRA

raised by 57 supporters
  • Event: john daffurn's fundraising


We provide care and support to individuals and families affected by EB

Charity Registration No. 1084958


Thanks for taking the time to visit my Stamford to Saigon JustGiving page.

Before I tell you a little about the journey and the charity I have chosen, a few points points up front.

Firstly, unlike some JustGiving pages, I have not set a target but instead will rely on your generosity.

Secondly after donating you will receive an automated thank you email containing a link to my blogsite where you can see more details of the trip including a map of the route, my most recent location and uploaded photos during my trip.

Finally my thanks to Michael Portillo who not only has recently made a few rail journeys of his own but who is also President of DebRA. Michael met me recently, wished me every success for the fundraising and has generously made the first donation.

DebRA ( is the only national patient support group and medical research charity in the UK working on behalf of people living with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). EB is a genetic condition where the skin can break at the slightest touch, causing pain, open blisters, and wounds. EB can mean a life of extreme pain, disability and, at its worst, is fatal in infancy. DebRA provides specialist EB nursing, funds extensive medical research, and provides counselling, welfare, respite and advocacy. In my own town of Stamford seven month old Phoebe Crowson has a rare form of EB and requires much specialist care and attention. It is difficult for those of us blessed with healthy children to imagine not being able to handle or play with ones child in a normal way.

And why the trip...........................

I have always wanted to travel on the so called Trans-Siberian Express and, in planning, discovered that not only could I travel by train from Stamford but that I could travel as far as Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City as it is now called) before I ran out of track. The route will take me through France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Mongolia, China and Vietnam. The total trip is over 9500 miles and I will spend at least 275 hours on trains! I am travelling light, using only a small 30 litre backpack, travelling alone, staying in hostels and a Mongolian yurt during stopovers and sharing 4 berth sleepers with as yet anonymous companions on the trains.

Please make a donation and follow my trip. Even the smallest contributions will help DebRA and those suffering with EB.

Many many thanks

John Daffurn

P.S. Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.



  • Michael Portillo, my first sponsor