BIKE IT: First National Yamba agent Richard Hunt and Ronald McDonald House Charity Northern NSW CEO Ross Bingham prepare to depart McDonalds in South Grafton for the start of the five-day Ride for Sick Kids to Newcastle.
BIKE IT: First National Yamba agent Richard Hunt and Ronald McDonald House Charity Northern NSW CEO Ross Bingham prepare to depart McDonalds in South Grafton for the start of the five-day Ride for Sick Kids to Newcastle. Caitlan Charles

Pedal power for sick kids

FOR RICHARD Hunt, taking part in the Ride for Sick Kids, a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House, turns an "unhealthy obsession with lycra” into a good cause.

An avid cycler from First National Real Estate, Yamba, Mr Hunt set out for Coffs Harbour yesterday for the second year in a row with the Ronald McDonald House Northern NSW CEO Ross Bingham and a whole host of riders to raise awareness and funds for the charity which helps sick kids and their families stay together during treatment.

"This is a very worthy cause,” Mr Ross said. "It's something that maybe people overlook a little bit, when you look at the logistics of going to hospital in Australia.”

Mr Bingham said when you look at the hospitals around the state, they look similar, but there is only one hospital for the Northern NSW region, John Hunter Children's Hospital in Newcastle, that has all the specialists in it.

"Families from Grafton and south, out west ... down to Coonabarabran, the Hunter Region, Central Coast, all those families have to travel to John Hunter Children's Hospital if their child is seriously ill or injured or they have a premature baby,” he said.

"When those families come down, to be with their child, they've got a place to stay and it's Ronald McDonald House.”

With 18 units, a few minutes walk from the hospital, it can make a big difference for families, he said.

Riders will travel 538km, stopping in towns between Grafton and Newcastle to talk to kids about bike safety and raise funds for Ronald McDonald House.



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