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Cycling challenge aids doctor charity

09 May 2016

Jake Heald has the determination of someone far older than his tender seven years. The Walliston (Western Australia) lad resolved to raise money for Médecins Sans Frontières after hearing about the recent bombing of an Afghan hospital. His proud dad Dom said Jake wanted to know more about the role of doctors who travel to war-torn zones around the world.

“It was at that point he said he wanted to be a doctor, so he could work for Médecins Sans Frontières and help others less fortunate,” his father said. Jake’s initial drive was to cycle the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail to achieve his promise challenge with Kalamunda Joey Scouts. He persuaded his parents and older brother Luke (9) to join him on the 41km ride, and commit to monthly donations to the Médecins Sans Frontières charity. Both boys attend Walliston Primary School, which supported the family’s appeal with donations and flyers.

Mr Heald said the scenic trail was challenging, particularly when the boys cycled the 300m incline to Glen Forrest before the downhill stretch towards Sawyers Valley. “We’re so glad we did it because the views are spectacular and the weather was perfect,” Mr Heald said. Jake and his family completed the ride in six hours to raise an incredible $1500 from 47 supporters, exceeding Jake’s target of $250. “I think the sore legs (and bottoms) at the end of the day were very quickly forgotten when they realised just how much they had achieved,” family friend Wes Bancroft said.

Originally published on 6 May 2016 in the Hills/Avon Gazette by Lynn Grierson