A Melbourne man, who suffered a life-changing stroke at the age of 12, will set off on an ambitious and potentially record-breaking physical challenge on Monday (August 2).
Tommy Quick plans to ride a three-wheel bicycle, known as a recumbent trike, more than 9,000 kilometres to the four furthest points of Australia.
The start date coincides with Tommy’s 28th birthday and the beginning of National Stroke Week, the Stroke Foundation’s key stroke awareness campaign.
Tommy is excited about his impending adventure and said he is looking forward to chatting to locals along the way about stroke.
“I want people to know that stroke can happen at any age, but it does not mean your life is over,” Tommy said.
“After spending five weeks in a coma, I learnt to talk and walk again against the odds. I have always set myself goals in my recovery, but this ride is by far the biggest.”
“It’s an enormous test mentally and physically, but I’m determined to give it my best shot. You’ve only got one life so why not aim high.”
Tommy’s journey will begin at Steep Point in Western Australia and his final destination is Cape York in Far North Queensland. His support team will be travelling in a decommissioned ambulance.
As well as sharing his personal experience with stroke to raise awareness of the disease and break down pre-conceived perceptions about disability, Tommy is raising funds for Stroke Foundation. Funds raised will help Stroke Foundation deliver support programs to survivors of stroke and their families.
Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan applauded Tommy for his drive and tenacity and encouraged Australians to support him.
“Recovery from stroke does not end when people leave hospital. It is an ongoing journey for the survivor and their families,” Ms McGowan said.
“Tommy is an incredible example of what can be achieved with hard-work, determination and commitment. Not all survivors of stroke will be able to achieve what Tommy has, but all gains in rehabilitation are important.”
“Tommy demonstrates there is life after stroke.”
Each year up to 600 Australian children suffer a stroke, one in 20 die and more than half of survivors will experience long-term impairments.
Tommy is keen to talk to school and community groups throughout his ride and for cyclists, joggers and ultra-marathon runners to join him on the road.
For more on Tommy’s journey or to donate visit www.the4points.org