Fam­ily pedal to beat MND

North West Telegraph - - News - Sophia Con­stan­tine

The Port Hed­land com­mu­nity has left its mark on a fam­ily of four who have spent the past nine months rid­ing their push bikes across Aus­tralia to raise funds for mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease re­search.

Jozef and Diana Wolters and their chil­dren Cloe, 14, and Jack, 12, stopped in Port Hed­land ear­lier this month as part of their wheel­spin­ning jour­ney, which be­gan in their home town of Bund­aberg, Queens­land.

The Wolters said they were “blown away” by the sup­port and gen­eros­ity of the com­mu­nity, who rolled up their sleeves to sup­port and con­trib­ute to­wards their fundrais­ing ef­forts of more than $20,000.

After los­ing Jozef’s fa­ther to the dis­ease in July, 2017, the Wolters iden­ti­fied a gap in the num­ber of ser­vices avail­able to car­ers and fam­ily mem­bers af­fected by MND.

Mr Wolter said there was not enough fund­ing to have per­ma­nent coun­selling ser­vices avail­able to those af­fected, par­tic­u­larly in ru­ral ar­eas.

“In cities, it’s eas­ier where there’s more peo­ple, where there’s more pop­u­la­tion — it’s eas­ier to have a full-time per­son,” he said.

“The coun­sel­lor that we had avail­able to us in Bund­aberg was only avail­able to us three days a week.

“They’re not em­ployed long enough.

“It’s rather im­pos­si­ble for one per­son to cover all that area and meet with every per­son and give them the sup­port that they need.

“Its nec­es­sary, es­pe­cially in the case where it’s a part­ner that takes care of the part­ner, that they get coun­selling for at least 12 months after the part­ner has passed, be­cause there are a lot of ques­tions they want an­swered.”

The Wolters aim to raise $50,000 and are in the process of en­gag­ing with State, Ter­ri­tory and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments to match the fund­ing they have raised for the Mo­tor Neu­rone Dis­ease As­so­ci­a­tion of Queens­land. To find out more visit give.ev­ery­day­hero.com/au/oneyear-on-our-bike.

Pic­ture: Sophia Con­stan­tine

Cloe, 14, Jozef, Diana, and Jack Wolters, 12.

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