From stock sad­dle to road bike trek

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE -

RIDE WITH THE ACTONS: Coal­stoun Lakes’ Kim Cor­field with cousin Philip Ac­ton and his mother Cathy, who made the chal­leng­ing jour­ney from Townsville to Bris­bane to raise aware­ness of a ge­netic dis­or­der, PKU.

PHILIP Ac­ton rode into Bris­bane Tues­day af­ter­noon af­ter ped­alling 1500km from Townsville in just 18 days.

The ride was a re­mark­able feat con­sid­er­ing the fa­ther of three has spent his life on the land and hadn’t rid­den a road bike un­til eight weeks be­fore his jour­ney be­gan.

De­spite his un­fa­mil­iar­ity Phil ac­cepted the chal­lenge to push his body to the limit to serve as a role model for his boys.

Philip and wife Sarah have three sons; Thomas (5), Wil­liam (3) and Harry (22mths). BothWil­liam and Harry have Phenylke­tonuria (PKU), a rare ge­netic meta­bolic dis­or­der picked up by the heal prick test at birth. For those with the dis­or­der, their liver cells can­not con­vert phenyl­ala­nine (PHE) to ty­ro­sine (TYR).

Phil said the only re­li­able way the dis­or­der could be ef­fec­tively man­aged was with a strict diet. The boys’ food is weighed and the amount of pro­tein is cal­cu­lated to the gram.

“The boys also con­sume a sup­ple­ment to make up for the loss of pro­tein in our diet,” he said.

“Be­cause of this Sarah does a lot of bak­ing us­ing low-pro­tein foods.”

Phil’s mother, Cathy (who drove the sup­port ve­hi­cle dur­ing the marathon ride), said ev­ery­where Sarah goes she had her diary and a set of scales so ev­ery­thing could be weighed.

Dur­ing the ride Phil stopped at his cousin Kim and Michael Cor­field’s home at Coal­stoun Lakes on Thurs­day night.

Cathy said she was en­joy­ing spend­ing qual­ity time with her son on the road.

“Peo­ple and busi­nesses have been gen­er­ous and ter­rific and truck driv­ers cour­te­ous,” she said.

Phil said he couldn’t have done it with­out the help of his sup­port­ers.

“The main rea­son for this ride was to spread aware­ness and to let the IEM and PKU com­mu­nity know they are not alone and not to feel iso­lated,” he said.

“For my­self I now re­alise how much I live for my kids and there is more to life than work­ing 16 hours a day.”

Phil set out to raise $20,000 for the Meta­bolic Di­etary Dis­or­ders As­so­ci­a­tion (MDDA) but has more than dou­bled that fig­ure.

PHOTO: ERICA MURREE

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

RAIS­ING AWARE­NESS: Philip Ac­ton with his fam­ily, wife Sarah and sons Thomas, Wil­liam and Harry.

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