THREE years to the day after his grandson Lachie died from SIDS, Ian Cross will cycle into Bega to complete a 670km fundraising journey.
While Mr Cross is from Canberra, his daughter and son-in-law now live in Bega.
He will be spending a week cycling the 670km from Canberra to fundraise for the SIDS and Kids Foundation, which he said offered he and his family great support after Lachie died.
Mr Cross will leave Canberra on June 21, passing through Cooma, Jindabyne, Bombala, Orbost, Cann River and will finish in Bega on Red Nose Day, the annual major fundraiser for SIDS and Kids.
In a sadly ironic twist, Red Nose Day falls on June 27 this year - the same day on which Lachie died three years ago.
Mr Cross was overseas on Christmas Island working for the Australian Federal Police when he got the call informing him Lachie had died at six weeks of age due to sudden infant death syndrome.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Mr Cross said.
“It’s not knowing why the person passed away - when they were young and healthy - is what gets to you.”
His 18-year-old daughter “took control” of the situation, looking after the rest of the family and supporting Ian’s wife, before he was able to fly home two days later.
Mr Cross said he found comfort in talking to old school friends on Facebook when Lachie died, who took the time to listen to what he had to say.
He said for those affected by the tragedy of SIDS, the best thing to do is to speak to someone about it.
“It’s not spoken about in the media,” he said.
“It doesn’t come up in conversation – no-one talks about it.
“It’s such a terrible thing to happen to any family.”
Mr Cross’s daughter moved to Bega for a fresh start, and he said the move had “been magnificent” for them.
She married her partner and now has a 16-month-old son, Hunter.
Mr Cross chose to fundraise through a long bike riding trip as he has always been interested in cycling.
He aims to raise $5000 to donate to SIDS and Kids, and is not far off his target, which he is “just so pleased” about.
After a couple of years, Mr Cross intends to take a group for a much longer bike ride up and down the coast to once again raise funds for SIDS for Kids.
If anyone is interested in donating to Mr Cross’s bike ride, visit his EverydayHero fundraising page by clicking here.