Bob Delaney knows who his friends are. The Bexhill resident has just returned with his wife Jenny and their three children from a trip to the UK, a holiday completely funded by Bobs mates.
Not that Bob and Jenny are desperately short of a dollar. Its just that Bobs friend wanted to give the family an adventure after their world was turned upside down last year when Bob was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
Unlike most diseases the cause of MND is unknown, and there is no cure. It begins with the gradual degeneration of the bodys muscles, and ends in total paralysis.
At present only Bobs speech and breathing is affected by MND, but the harsh reality is that he will need ongoing support, and thats where his mates come into it again. Aside from sending the family on an overseas trip, a group of his friends are currently riding 500km from Lismore to Tamworth to raise money for any future care that Bob might need.
Bob, an avid cyclist himself, is riding with the group, and his friends are calling on the Lismore community to pitch in and sponsor a rider or make a donation.
Bob is the nicest bloke you will ever meet, said Kim Evans, who also happens to be Bobs brother-in-law. But you also cant put Bob in a box. Hes a brilliant sportsman, a fantastic writer and a self-taught musician who knows everything there is to know about music.
The cyclists left from La Baracca Caf in Keen Street on Monday before heading to Woodlawn for a right royal send-off by the whole school. Bob is an ex-student and also taught at Woodlawn. Kim Evans is assistant principal, and the other cyclists are associated with Woodlawn in some way.
Thats what will be driving us on the ride, said Kim of choosing La Baracca as their starting point. Coffee, and our mate Bob.
Eighty per cent of the money raised will go directly to support the Delaney family and 20 per cent to the MND Association of NSW to assist with research.
To find out more contact Kim Evans on 0410 481 692 or make a direct donation at the National Australia Bank, BSB 082-707, A/C 79-134-2524. You can also send cheques to the Robert Delaney MND Bike Ride, PO Box 6, Lismore, NSW, 2480.
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