After facing a bike crash around six weeks ago, Taree's Ivor Thomas thought he was out of this year's Ride for Sick Kids charity event.
However thinking of how Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) has helped so many families with sick children, it gave him the inspiration he needed to participate in the full ride finishing on September 10.
"You get reminded of some of the stories and the outcomes that the Ronald McDonald House has had on families and it puts it all into perspective to suck it up and get on with things," he said.
Ivor is participating in his fourth annual Ride for Sick Kids, raising money for the RMHC Northern NSW.
RMHC helps 60,000 seriously ill and injured children and their families each year.
Ivor will aim to complete a 500km group ride that started on Monday, September 6 and will finish today Friday, September 10. The goal for the 2021 ride is $200,000, which is equivalent to 1418 nights of accommodation at the RMH.
River and his dad, Dave, have used the services of the RMHC spending more than 270 nights at the house after tumours were discovered in the seven-year-old's body.
"Without Ronald McDonald House we would have had to sell our family home to afford accommodation. It's been a godsend, it really has - I don't know what I would have done without the place," Dave said.
The cornerstone program of RMHC provides a 'home away from home' for families of seriously ill and injured children being treated at nearby hospitals.
The houses keep families close by giving parents and siblings the opportunity to stay together to support their sick loved ones, currently with 18 RMHC Houses throughout Australia accommodating more than 10,000 families annually.
Traditionally, the group ride ran from Grafton through to RMH at John Hunter Hospital over the five days, however the ride looked a little different this year with the restrictions to stay within local government areas (LGA).
"I am doing the same amount of kilometres all within the MidCoast Council LGA. Today (September 8) I started at Taree North McDonalds then went out to Forster, went through drive through Maccas at Forster then came back again," Ivor said.
Ivor has a personal goal to raise $2500 which can be donated via his profile on the Ride for Sick Kids website found at: fundraise.rmhc.org.au/fundraisers/ivorthomas/ride-for-sick-kids
Throughout the month of September, anyone can sign up to be a part of this year's virtual Ride for Sick Kids, cycling in the comfort of their own home or local bike riding track.
The money raised from the event will be donated to the Northern NSW chapter which includes the Ronald McDonald Family Retreat in Forster.
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