22 cyclists will pull on pink lycra and make the ride from Melbourne to Wollongong later this month to raise money for local nine year old Chloe Saxby- and all thanks to social media!
Two Melbourne cyclists, previously unknown to the Saxby family, saw Chloe’s plight on social media and immediately wanted to help. The pair sprung into action, gathered a team of cyclists and created the ‘Ride for Chloe’- which will see 22 people hop on their bikes for the gruelling ride from Melbourne to Sydney in a bid to raise money to help Chloe.
Chloe suffers a rare brain disease – Vanishing White Matter- which is a degenerative illness only identified seven times in Australia.
Now nine, Chloe has been confined to a wheelchair for six years. She has become increasingly fragile as a result of the disease, which will slowly paralyse her and rob her of the ability to see, talk, hear or eat.
Research is underway for a cure however the progress is slow due to a lack of funding. In a bid to raise more money before time runs out, Chloe’s dad Grant Saxby will join the pack as they make the 1000km ride- finishing in Wollongong on October 20.
The fundraising ride will help with the purchase of specialised medical equipment and expand the team searching for a cure using Food and Drug Administration-approved compounds.
So far the team has raised over $123,000 and the ride hasn’t even started yet!
“None of these cyclists had ever met Chloe before putting their hand up to do the ride,” says Chloe’s mum Nyree. “It has all come about through the lovely President of Bulli Surf Club, Keith Caldwell sharing Saving Chloe Saxby Facebook posts. Then Richard Turner, Keith’s good friend from Melbourne (who is originally a Wollongong boy) showed it to his mate Ged from Melbourne and that’s how the ride started!
“These are the most incredible bunch of guys and for them to give up a week of their holidays and raise funds to help Chloe is pretty unbelievable.”
It’s an epic journey for this brave dad who has not ridden a bike more than 20kms before deciding to make this Ride for Chloe.
“It’s going to be a tough ride,” says Grant. “We are hoping to travel more than 150km a day for six days. Chloe is my source of inspiration and she will get me through. I would to anything for Chloe to have the chance to ride a bike or walk again.”
To date, the Saxby’s overall campaign has raised more than $900,000 toward their goal of $2.6 million.