Getting there proved challenging for some while others struggled to stay upright but everyone returned from the 2018 Uluru to Singleton Postie Bike Bash in one piece and they have again raised vital funds that will be split between Singleton Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Support Group and the Hunter Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Fundraising Branch.
From Chook booking his flight a month early, Simon landing in Alice Springs rather than Uluru and Ellis missing his flight altogether to Bernie’s entertaining crash being caught on camera, this third trek was the most ambitious to date.
With the support crew packing up all the bikes, fuel and other supplies and heading to the iconic monolith ahead of the riders who flew to the starting point.
Organisers – Craig ‘Skillo’ Skillen, Kieran ‘Nitro’ Nugent and Dan Kramer - meticulously planned the 10-day adventure that took in three states with stops at remote locations like Dalhousie Springs, Arkaroola and Cameron Corner.
Dan says for him Dalhousie Springs was a highlight and after the costs were all cleared they raised $30 000.
Consistent with their no fuss approach to fundraising, they casually handed over two sizable cheques to the respective charity organisations at the Caledonian Hotel last Thursday night.
The driving force behind the Singleton Cystic Fibrosis Support Group Ruth Rogers was on hand to collect their share of the proceeds.
Ruth and her daughter Karen Hobson have worked tirelessly over the years to raise money for this cause.
A cause that is close to their hearts as Karen’s children have a rare form of the disease. They were diagnosed within a week of each other; at the time her youngest Emily was three months old and her son Myles was three-and-a-half.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) primarily affects the lungs and digestive system because of a malfunction in the exocrine system that’s responsible for producing saliva, sweat, tears and mucus. There is currently no cure.
People with CF develop an abnormal amount of excessively thick and sticky mucus within the lungs, airways and the digestive system. This causes impairment of the digestive functions of the pancreas and traps bacteria in the lungs resulting in recurrent infections, leading to irreversible damage.
Ruth says this latest donation brings the collective total raised by the bash for the group to $72 000.
In 2014, the inaugural bash saw them grab their swags and humble ‘postie’ bikes to make a 3000 kilometre round trip from Singleton to Cameron Corner. Traversing difficult terrain at an average speed of only 60km per hour they made it to the iconic isolated location, 140 km west of Tibooburra at the junction of the New South Wales, South Australian and Queensland borders. Here they achieved their humble goal of playing Tri-State Golf.
Their first effort, and associated events, saw a massive $40 000 raised for Cystic Fibrosis. Despite the dangers the riders faced, they did it all again in 2016 but they followed a different route, stopping at locations like Lightning Ridge, Bourke, and Nindigully. The $37 200 raised that year was split three ways – it was divided between two families who were doing it tough and CF.
While chairperson of the Hunter Multiple Sclerosis fundraising branch Glenn Armstrong, and secretary Diane Hellyer, travelled from Newcastle to receive their donation.
Diane says Glenn suffers from the debilitating condition but bravely soldiers on to help others.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system, interfering with nerve impulses within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It is characterised by sclerosis a Greek word meaning scars.
These scars occur within the central nervous system and depending on where they develop, manifest into various symptoms.
The symptoms can be any combination of the five major health problems, including: motor control, fatigue, other neurological symptoms, continence problems and neuropsychological symptoms like depression, cognitive difficulties and memory loss.
There is currently no known cure for MS however there are a number of treatment options available to help manage symptoms and slow progression of the disease.
Dan says they chose to support the branch due to his personal experience with the disease.
“My mother-in-law has MS,” he says.
“I would like to thank to all the riders, our support crew – including Waldorf and Statler who can drive but not fix – as well as all the people that welcomed us and donated to the cause along the way. And finally to Nitro and Skillo, without them there is no bash.”
Ruth says without vital funds like this from the Singleton Postie Bash advances cannot be made.
“On behalf of the Cystic Fibrosis community I would like to thank Kieren [Nitro], Dan and Skillo – and their fellow Postie bashers – for the money raised on the 2018 Postie Bash from Uluru to Singleton,” she says.
This latest donation will be split a few ways, Ruth explains.
With the beneficiaries being:
- CF NSW Research;
- CF John Hunter Pediatric Unit;
- CF John Hunter Young Adult Unit;
- the John Hunter Arts Program.