BRAVADO AND ACHING BONES
APOSTIE bike and 1042 bone shattering kilometres to the finish.
Across the Northern Territory. From Broome to Kununurra along the Gibb River Rd. That’s Australian for dust, dirt and corrugation. Enter three girls and a combined dream to raise money for the children’s charity Bright Blue. Lots of money. The Gibb River Rd ride on your postie bike is not for the fainthearted even though it is some of Australia’s most amazing scenery through the Kimberley – beautiful creek crossings, along unsealed roads and sleeping under the stars.
Three girls from Cohuna with steely determination and freshly acquired motorbike licences are keen to give it a crack.
Fiona Stavenuiter and sisters Renne Hipwell and Carmen Dye just hope it won’t be cracking their bones.
Fiona grew up in Cohuna and has always had an adventurous streak and a desire to help others.
She also has incurable cancer and has been fighting it for the past 18 years.
A huge health scare in 2018 gave her pause for reflection and ignited in her a drive to step out of her comfort zone and make a difference.
“My last lot of treatment for cancer to the bones and bone marrow gave me nerve damage to my feet and lower right leg,” Fiona said.
“Knowing the pain, fatigue and feelings of being unwell I can only imagine what it must be like for kids going through sickness, so I thought why not jump on board and support Bright Blue,” Fiona said.
She saw the Gibb Rd postie bike challenge and knew she had found what she was looking for – an adventure, a challenge and a chance to give back all rolled into one.
She was quick to ask family friends Renee and Carmen to come along and share in the fun.
Renee is a working mum and has three children.
Her youngest child Dotti has kidney reflux and has spent the past three years of her life in and out of hospital.
“Dotti has been sick since she was two. It wasn’t until she was diagnosed that we started to get some answers and make some headway with her health.
“The way I look at it is, she has come out of this experience all right in the end, while many others haven’t and I would like to be able to give something back to help others who may not be so lucky,” Renee said.
She also added watching Fiona’s years of struggle with her cancer battle has also inspired her.
“Fiona has gone through so much over the years and when she asked if I would come along with her, there was no way I was ever going to say no – although I am a bit nervous about spending so many hours on a postie bike and a bloody bumpy road.”
Carmen laughed as she said her participation was given no choice.
“Renee and Fiona just told me I had to come along and that was it – I have basically been dragged in to it,” she said.
“Carmen has a beautiful mind and a generous soul who loves her nieces and nephew and works with kids with special needs so of course she was coming with us,” Fiona said.
The Bright Blue Gibb River road postie ride starts on June 7 next year.
It costs $2200 to participate in the event and each rider must raise at least $5000 as part of their entry fee.
The money raised goes directly to Bright Blue to support new drug discoveries in childhood cancer research, works with Interplast to assist with sustainable surgeries for kids in Mongolia and also works alongside Radio Lollipop – helping to put smiles on the faces of children when they need them most. Together the girls must raise $15,000. Their major fundraiser is a great fun night at the Leitchville Hotel November 24.
It kicks off at 7pm and includes live music by Mark Petersen and a drink and light supper on arrival.
There will be raffles and silent auctions held throughout the night.
Tickets are $50 and include a chance to win
Riding a postie bike across the Gibb River road to raise money for sick kids while living with incurable cancer – and getting to do it with great friends – will be an experience of a lifetime
the major prize of $1000.
Second prize includes two nights’ accommodation in a Cohuna Waterfront Holiday Park cabin (conditions apply) and third is a great lucky door, but you must be present to collect.
A bus will run from Echuca to Leitchville on the night, cost is $20.
“We are really looking forward to raising as much money as we possibly can for this great charity and we will be doing everything we can to reach our goal of raising $15,000.
“Every little donation helps and we really appreciate your generosity in supporting our cause,” Renee said.
They would like to thank Sadie and Co Mooroolbark, Stantons Insurance Cohuna and High Mountain Water Kinglake who have jumped on board with sponsorship already – but they are looking for more business support.
While the event is only seven months away, the girls have obtained their motorbike licenses and will be working on a bit of core strength and fitness to help them along the way.
“I am really worried about the fatigue – the first leg is 260km so I am not sure how that will go,” Renee said.
One thing is for certain, the three of them will be giving it a red hot crack.
“Riding a postie bike across the Gibb River road to raise money for sick kids while living with incurable cancer – and getting to do it with great friends – will be an experience of a lifetime,” Fiona said.
Anyone interested in making a donation can click on https://gibbriverride2019.everydayhero. com/au/three-girls-doing-it-for-a-cause and for the latest information check out Facebook Gibb River Road – three girls doing it for a cause.
HAVE BIKE, WILL RIDE: Renne Hipwell, Fiona Stavenuiter and Carmen Dye with the little red bike that is going to take them on a very big journey as part of the fundraiser for the children’s charity Bright Blue.