Pedal from Saigon to Phnom Penh for Arthritis
1 in 5 Australians are affected by arthritis. There are more than 1.4m people in NSW alone who have some form of arthritis.
Arthritis is a leading cause of disability and chronic pain that causes damage to the joints, resulting in pain, stiffness, joint deterioration and loss of mobility. It is something that can dramatically impact your life and reduce your quality of life in people of all ages - from kids to grandparents.
Arthritis NSW's Cycle for Disability is helping to combat the impact of arthritis with a South East Asian adventure, combining travelling, cycling and exploring, while fundraising for a worthy cause.
Cycling can be difficult enough sometimes, but there are already 8 people signed up for Cycle for Disability, some of them with a form of arthritis, who have not let it slow them down on the road to Vietnam and Cambodia.
Cycle for Disability will see participants cycling and travelling through these two unique countries, seeing the sights and sounds of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), the Mekong Delta, Siem Reap and more. The 14 day expedition, starting 15 November 2013, will take participants to bustling cities, national parks, rice paddies, museums, temples, an orphanage, markets and much more, in a great opportunity to escape the well-trodden tourist trail.
Rob Novotny, Marketing and Fundraising Manager for Arthritis NSW is looking forward to this event and explains what people can expect and what they might participate.
'A lot of tourists to this beautiful part of the world use it as an opportunity to sit on the beach, drink, eat and unwind and then return home.
'Cycle for Disability 2013 is a chance to avoid this and instead immerse yourself in the local cultures of Vietnam and Cambodia, give back to their communities and visit rustic riverside towns, tranquil waterways, and the ancient site of Angkor Wat and see rich history firsthand, all while supporting the work done by Arthritis NSW," he concluded.
Dates: 15-28 November 2013
Registration fee: $700.
Fundraising target: $3,175 (doesn't include travel)
Travel cost: $3,325 + taxes of approx. $470 (can be fundraised)
Trip duration: 14 days
Physical activity: 6 days cycling
Challenge grade: moderate
Accommodation: 3-4 star hotels
More information is available at www.inspiredadventures.com.au/arthritisNSW/vietnam2013
Arthritis NSW is a non-government health charity that seeks to improve the quality of life of those affected by arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions.
The money raised from this Inspired Adventure will:
Provide support, advice and information for people with arthritis or other musculoskeletal conditions and their families
Enable people to develop self-management skills
Promote community awareness of the issues associated with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions
Work with health professionals to improve management of arthritis and early diagnosis
Provide seminars and programs for the community and health professionals
Support research into the causes and treatment of arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions.
For more information visit www.arthritisnsw.org.au or call 1800 011 041.
To donate to Jane Atkinson visit: www.Facebook.com/FourFitLadies
Question: What inspired you to participate in the Arthritis NSW Cycle for Disability?
Jane Atkinson : I was inspired to do the ride, as I suffer from Arthritis and wanted to try and give something back to an organisation that has helped me. I also wanted to spread the word about what arthritis is, and who has it, and how to find out more information.
Question: Are you entering with friends or family?
Jane Atkinson : I am entering with Friends, six in total, all women, ranging in age from 33 to 63.
Question: Do you know someone with arthritis?
Jane Atkinson : Both myself, and another rider Jess, both have arthritis.
Question: How did you go about fundraising the registration and travel costs?
Jane Atkinson : Raffles, trivia night, auction, sausage sizzles, selling earrings and hair ties at markets, letter to business sponsors, online emails and Facebook.
Question: Can you talk about the training you are currently doing to prepare for the event?
Jane Atkinson : We all ride most weekend and have been doing boot camp and going to the gym. Five of us have young kids, so it is a matter of balancing out time to make sure everything fits in!
Question: Has cycling always been a passion for you?
Jane Atkinson : Not at all! I first rode a bike at Christmas time last year. Before that I last road a bike without gears when I was 8! It has been a steep learning curve, but I think I am now addicted!
Question: What types of challenges will you have to overcome to complete this ride?
Jane Atkinson : Fitness is the first challenge and being bike ready, also making sure the arthritis symptoms are kept under control, and finding time to train. The fundraising has been a lot of work, but has been worth the effort.
Question: What are you looking forward to most about the ride?
Jane Atkinson : The finish line! An being a team, and working together to get to the end of our journey.
Question: What is your fundraising goal?
Jane Atkinson : The team hopes to raise around $40,000 for Arthritis NSW and Travel.
Question: What advice do you have for Australians newly diagnosed with arthritis?
Jane Atkinson : Contact Arthritis NSW, talk to your doctor and rheumatologist and other sufferers and find out as much as you can. Educate close friends and family about the disease, so they know why you can't do things that they can sometimes.
Interview by Brooke Hunter