Revved up to raise funds


DECEMBER 11, 2016 is the day the Nielson family’s life changed forever.
Geoff was hurt in a motorcycle accident on that day, losing his lower left leg and suffering multiple other injuries that he is still contending with.
But he and his close family are simply glad he is alive.
“You know we’ve been doing the Motorcycle Muster for years, but never in a million years thought that we would have cause to use the hospital in this way,” Geoff said.
The 70-year-old was on a leisurely motorcycle ride with some mates, when the accident occurred.
While he is not able to discuss circumstances of the accident as the investigation is continuing, he did say he has been blown away by the care he has received in the hospital.
“My Harley was written off but I do plan to get back on a Harley one of these days – my left shoulder is still a problem, but I’ll get there,” Mr Nielson said.
Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster has been an annual motorcycle pilgrimage for 16 years, originating in 2002 when Wayne and Rhonda Leonard got together with the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, to fundraise for a paediatric transport cot.
Since 30 motorcycle riders revved their engines and set off on the first Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster, the annual event has raised more than $732,729 for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
Based in the Far North, all funds raised by the Foundation are spent improving health care services for people who live in this region.
As one of the charity’s premier fundraising events, Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster has generated enough money to contribute about $100,000 towards the $1.2 million Paediatric Playground Project, which created a state-of-the-art playground for young patients in Cairns Hospital in 2015.
The Muster also has enabled the Hospital Foundation to buy a range of vital health equipment for Cairns Hospital, including equipment for the Emergency Department, Special Care Nursery, and this year funds are going towards the Theatre Department.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said this year participants were aiming to raise $70,000, with $15,000 already raised. “We’re looking at buying some special equipment for theatre, that would help patients like Geoffro in the future,” Mr Franz said.
This year’s Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster will travel on August 5 to Mission Beach, via a scenic trip through the Atherton Tablelands. It is anticipated more than 40 motorcycles will take part.
For more information visit Motorcycle Muster.

Photo: Foundation CEO Tony Franz, Geoff Nielson and Rhonda Leonard.


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