A FORMER Tathra resident is about to embark on a huge challenge and he is seeking your support.
Cameron Mayne is riding from Loftus (Sydney) to Rosedale in Victoria - a total distance of 813km - to raise money for six-year-old Xavier Tilley who was recently diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour.
Many residents would be familiar with Mr Mayne as he was a star midfielder and premiership player for the Tathra Sea Eagles Australian Rules Football Club for a number of years.
He now lives in Rosedale and is a close friend of the Tilley family.
“Cam’s Big Bike Ride for Xavier Tilley” is being organised through the Rosedale Football Netball Club.
“Xavier’s parents Mick and Bec are tireless and fantastic workers for our football club,” Mr Mayne said.
“Since this devastating news, they have spent pretty much every minute of the day with Xavier as well as trying to look after 10-year-old Jada and Peyton, who is eight months old.”
Xavier underwent immediate surgery in January, but doctors were unable to remove the whole tumour.
He is now in for a long haul of radiation and chemotherapy, being ferried between the Monash Medical Centre and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre for treatment on a daily basis.
Mr Mayne decided something needed to be done immediately to help the family financially and is seeking donations from local clubs, businesses, or organisations to support his fundraising bike ride.
The majority of the proceeds will be going to the Xavier Tilley Fight Against Cancer Foundation with a percentage of it also going to cancer research.
“Everyone at some stage in their life, either directly or indirectly is affected by cancer, but it is especially devastating when it is a six-year-old child,” he said.
“I have three girls, my twins were born in Bega, and it would be heartbreaking to think of any of my kids getting crook like Xavier.”
Mr Mayne will start the ride on Monday and will spend the following six days on the bike until he reaches his destination on April 5.
He rides into Tathra on Wednesday and hopes there will be a good crowd at his old hometown to welcome him.
Mr Mayne is relatively new to bike riding.
A work accident a couple of years ago meant his days of running were over.
He started riding as part of his rehabilitation program and decided to stick with it.
Mr Mayne has participated in a couple of mountain bike events, but has never ridden for such long distances, so expects a week of pain, lycra chafing and a “sore bum”.
For the first couple of days someone will be riding with him, then he will take on the challenge by himself (along with a support vehicle).
In the lead up to the ride he has been jumping on the bike whenever he can, riding from between 30 to 90km at a time.
He expects the Tathra to Cann River, followed by the Cann River to Bairnsdale legs to be the most challenging, with a distance of 160km and 164km to be completed, respectively.
If that wasn’t difficult enough, there are also plenty of hills along that stretch of road to tackle.
Asked if travelling on such a busy road made him nervous, Mr Mayne said he is hoping motorists, especially trucks, give him some room and “don’t get too close”.
“I won’t be pushing myself to exhaustion during the first couple of days.
“I’m allowing eight to 10 hours to finish each ride on those days, as I know what’s ahead of me.
“Some people do these sorts of rides for fun, but I thought I may as well do it for a good reason.
“Hopefully it will raise enough money for the family to take a holiday or do whatever they can with it, when Xavier comes out the end of this ordeal.
“It’s really tearing them apart.”
Mr Mayne is looking forward to the challenge and has the whole of the Rosedale community behind him.
He has also received great response from the Sapphire Coast community, particularly from Tathra business owners.
“I’ve had awesome support and raised about $4000 so far, it’s fantastic the amount of people showing their support.”
The bank account details for the Xavier Tilley Fight Against Cancer Foundation are: XTFACF BSB: 633000 Account number: 151438439 reference: BIKE (plus your name or business name) or you can contact Cameron Mayne on 0402 673 606.