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Warwick's Giant Ride

My name's Warwick. I'm 20 years old, live in Bendigo and am currently studying Accounting at La Trobe University. This January I'm attempting to ride my bike across Australia, from Bendigo to Perth, in an effort to raise funds for the non-profit organisation Limbs 4 Life. I'll be riding with a support vehicle in temperatures climbing over 40°. For most of the journey we'll be camping roadside. I aim to finish the ride by early February, averaging about 150 km per day.

I've been interested in cycling since high school really. It took me ages to get my car licence as I was busy falling in love with cycling, and just didn't get around it. I managed to lose 20 kg's from cycling to and from work alone. Soon after I turned my attention to motorcycling as a means of transport. I had my motorbike for about eight months when in Christmas 2008 things took a bad turn.

My sister Rebecca and her husband Adrian, keen travellers who were based in London, came to Australia for a short holiday to catch up with family and friends. During their stay I took Rebecca on the back of my motorbike for a quick joy ride. This ride changed our lives forever. Not far along I completely lost control of my bike and we had a serious accident. The eventual result being that my sister Rebecca had to have her right leg amputated.

During her long recovery, she and Adrian have had to move to Melbourne permanently. Adapting to her new life and lifestyle has been a long and difficult process, which is far from complete.

Limbs 4 Life is a not-for-profit, non-government organisation developed to provide information, support and access to resources for people in the Australian community affected by limb loss. Their mission is ‘to empower amputees with information, support and promote an inclusive community'. Amputation of limbs affects 250,000 Australians and can be caused by diabetes, vascular disease, cancer, trauma, infections, congenital differences and more.

Losing a limb can lead to a more challenging way of life for each individual effected, however receiving assistance from Limbs 4 Life will ease the burden and has done so for many, many Australians. I am hoping not only to raise awareness about the difficulties faced by amputees but also much-needed donations to keep the program viable to support people in similar situations to that of my darling sister.

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