Cyclists sweat for charity
ACHIEVING a bucket list goal, supporting family members or boosting local medical services has motivated a team of Mareeba residents to pedal more than 300km from Cairns to Cooktown.
The team of about 10 riders will saddle up to take part in the 11th annual Cardiac Challenge on September 16-18, which supports the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
With a mix of new and returning riders, the team has been rigorously training before the big ride tackling Copperlode Dam bike ride and cycling along local roads and trails.
First-time participant Kath Elms said she was motivated to join this year’s event after her husband and parents had experienced cardiac issues.
“I’ve had a fair few health issues over two years and it was a challenge for me to be able to do it,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to it and it’s a very good group, very supportive and a lot of fun.
“It’s a good example for my kids too.”
Mary Naylor will tackle the ride for the second consecutive year in support of her mother.
“Last year when I did the Cardiac Challenge my mum went into cardiac surgery the day that I got home from Cooktown,” she said.
“It’s the travel that she’s still trying to get over ... so this is so important, fundraising to keep our patients home, to keep them in Cairns.”
The team has raised about $4000, which will go towards the FNQ Hospital Foundation’s commitment to raise $1.4 million towards a second cardiac catheter laboratory at Cairns Hospital.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said a second laboratory would prevent hundreds of people having to travel away for lifesaving procedures.
“Recent research has shown that our region is among the worst in the country for heart disease and we have also been hearing that our population and tourist numbers are growing quite rapidly,” she said.
Fundraising from the 2017 Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge will go towards the second catheter laboratory, as well as a car raffle that recently began at the hospital.
A group of Mareeba residents will sweat it out for charity this month. Pictured is David Elms, Mary Naylor, Jill Taylor, Kath Elms, Pam Lavis, Dayna Sclippa, Nicky Cek, Debbie Jerome, Carmel Brignolo, Robyn Campman and Raymond Jerome.