Austin’s big ride

Community members have rallied around the family of Castlemaine youngster Austin Vearing in a bid to make ‘Austin’s Wish to Walk’ a reality.
Fundraising for the four-year-old’s life-changing SDR (selective dorsal rhizotomy) surgery is on track and the family has locked in his surgery in the US for June 3.
Austin’s dad Julian Vearing is currently planning another major fundraiser – ‘Austin’s Big Bike Ride’ – a 100km mountain bike riding challenge that will see participants undertake a ride through various routes in the local region later this month to raise vital funds towards the family’s $100,000 goal.
Nine teams of five to 10 riders are busy fundraising for the worthy cause and are gearing up to challenge themselves in the nine-hour endurance ride to support the youngster.
Locals can get behind the riders as they tackle this epic task and donate money to get Austin to the US at www.chuffed.org/project/austins-big-ride
“The response to the challenge has been amazing and our incredible teams are working hard to raise funds. It’s become a bit of a competition in itself!” Julian said.
He told the Express the support they had received to date had been overwhelming.
“The outpouring of support from our community and beyond has been absolutely amazing and we can’t thank everyone enough for helping us to make Austin’s wish a reality,” he said.
Austin’s mum Kat said he was a very determined little boy and they had been working hard in therapy to ensure he was the fittest and strongest he could be ahead of his surgery.
While the surgery isn’t a cure for Austin’s cerebral palsy, it will reduce spasticity in his body giving him better posture and control, less pain and is expected to enable him to walk independently on all surfaces. This opportunity will change his life.
“It is going to be a big challenge for us all. He will basically have to learn to walk again,” Kat said.
The family will spend a month in the US as Austin recovers and undertakes rehabilitation before returning home to no doubt face the challenges of hotel quarantine with two small children.
“It’s a long road ahead but to know we have the love and support of our family, friends and community behind us keeps us going. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Austin,” Kat said.
To follow Austin’s progress and for updates on Austin’s Big Bike Ride visit www.facebook.com/austins.wish.to.walk

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