HEART patients in the Far North are closer to gaining a second cardiac catheter lab, thanks to hundreds of cyclists and their supporters.
The annual Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge ride from Cairns to Cooktown, held on the first weekend of the September school holidays, raised more than $212,500.
Since inception in 2007 by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the event has now raised more than $3 million. The Foundation recently announced it would be fundraising $1.4 million towards a second cardiac catheter lab in Cairns, which will mean less people have to travel away for vital cardiac treatment.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the weekend went very smoothly with 240 cyclists ably assisted by 95 volunteers.
“The weekend went really well, the weather was kind to us, particularly on day 2 which was quite hot last year and the riders had an amazing time,” Ms Duncombe said.
Riders participated from around the country, some who had been travelling in -2 degrees in Canberra, but they really enjoyed the scenery and camaraderie
“We know that patients in Far North Queensland need a second cardiac catheter lab and we have a lot of community support to make it happen. These riders and their supporters have done an incredible job to help bring this project to fruition,” she said.
“Along the way we had incredible support and patience from the motoring public, particularly on the Kuranda Range one-lane closure. We actually were able to reopen the Range completely at 7.17am – fully 90 minutes earlier than scheduled.”
“A large contingent of off-duty staff from Cairns Hospital’s cardiac unit took part as both riders and volunteers on the event, showing they are doing what they can to support those who support them.
“The cardiac unit at Cairns Hospital have an amazing vision of health care and we are working really hard to help make it happen.”
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