Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott, right, arrives at Grafton Base Hospital yesterday, flanked by Grafton Base Hospital execut
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott, right, arrives at Grafton Base Hospital yesterday, flanked by Grafton Base Hospital execut

Pollies pedal into town for diabetes



CRAIG JESSOP has already won his biggest battle ? his fight for life.

He's doing the Pollie Pedal bike ride just for fun and charity.

The blind New Zealand man, who has undergone a double organ transplant, joined Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott and around 60 others for the 1100km trek from Brisbane to Sydney.

"I'm just working towards my goal of helping other people. Last time the 2004 ride was for disabled athletes. This time it's for diabetes. If it helps other people, that's what keeps me going," he said.

Mr Abbott arrived at Grafton Base Hospital yesterday, barely breaking a sweat after finishing the Kyogle to Grafton leg with Dr Bill Glasson of the AMA, NSW Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons chairman Dr Jim Sullivan, and Martin Cross, managing director of pharmaceuticals company Novartis.

"This is the ninth year we've done it and I'm not diabetic, but it's to bring awareness and raise money for diabetes," Mr Abbott said.

"It's the second time I've been in Grafton and thought it was a good chance to visit the hospital and talk to some patients as well as chat to the staff."



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