John’s long ride for boy lost to cancer
Trip around Australia has raised more than $10,000
JOHN Buchanan circumnavigated Australia as a tribute to a friend’s grandson and along the way raised more than $10,000 for the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Research Foundation.
He was deeply impacted by the loss of such a young life and decided he had to do something to help.
John wasn’t sure how he would help, but after learning two children a week were diagnosed with cancer in Australia, he became even more determined.
“This boy was diagnosed with leukaemia after his fourth birthday and never made five. That had a major impact on me,” John said.
“It brought a lump in the throat and I started to read about how many people cancer affects.
‘‘I’m retired so I had plenty of time to pitch in and help out.”
John was born and bred in Rochester but left life as a farmer in 1990 when he moved to WA to work in the mining industry.
He set an ambitious goal of riding his vintage 1979 XS650 Yamaha motorbike around Austra- lia, raising money and awareness for cancer research.
After many hours of work on the bike, John set off in June trekking anti-clockwise around the country and visiting every state.
“I decided on the motorbike because it was reliable, and I’ve owned it for 20 years,” John said.
Before leaving, John approached local businesses and had a great response. Specsavers Armadale became a major sponsor, donating a portion of every pair of glasses sold in their store during a three-month period.
The seven-week journey started at John’s home in Bedfordale, WA with a support vehicle driven by his wife, Carol.
John and Carol rattled tins in most major country towns along their route, with most collecting done in front of Woolworths or Coles.
“Unfortunately, we had a few problems with the bike and decided to put it on the truck at Darwin,” John said.
“It wasn’t a big deal because we never set out to break any records and make headlines on the bike.
‘‘It was all about the fundraising.”
John said he was amazed by the sheer number of people who had their own cancer stories and were willing to pitch in.
“It made us feel like we were doing something to help and made the whole trip worthwhile,’’ he said.
“Having never done anything like this before, I’m pleased with what we did.
‘‘I didn’t know what to expect and I’m very pleased to raise that much.
“I couldn’t have done it without my wife and the various other people who helped me out along the way.”
Now safely home, John is planning a few trips around local country areas to finish off the fundraising effort.
For more information, visit facebook.com/JohnsAussieJourney and to donate, visit johnsjourney.everydayhero.com/au/john-s-journey-for-kids-with-cancer
John Buchanan was born and raised in Rochester.