Ride for Kids - Old Grey Dutch Nomad
Arriving in Adelaide during September 2017
Ton, the Old Dutch Grey Nomad, will be riding from Darwin to Adelaide for the Childhood Cancer Association. Farewell him in Darwin on the 13th of August, encourage him along the way, or welcome him when he arrives in Adelaide in September.
G'day, let me introduce myself.
My name is Ton Vermeulen, widow and pensioned bus driver, aged 63 years, from Purmerend Holland.
Why do I want to do this crazy tour? Let me tell you something about myself to explain it. I started cycling late at the age of 34 when I moved from Amsterdam to Purmerend. At this time I started cycling to Amsterdam to work, this was a trip of 50kms a day. After a couple of months my fitness improved and so did my love of cycling, so I joined the cycle club at work and began riding with my workmates for pleasure as well. I became so addicted to riding I was now riding right throughout the year even during winter in minus temperatures. On the 5th of December 1992 something happened that changed my life. On that morning I was riding to work and just one kilometre from my workplace I was hit by a car that was travelling over 100kms per hour and was ran over by the that car. Because it was so cold I had more clothes on than normal, this in a way saved me. The impact was so hard that one of my lungs collapsed, I had six broken ribs, kidney damage and a terrible pain in my back, but luckily I was still alive. I was only in hospital one night, I showed them I could walk and they let me go home. But at home I was still in terrible pain. After a while they discovered this pain was from three broken vertebrae in my back not the ribs. I went into rehabilitation and after four months the doctors said, "this is it, no more cycling or you will end up in a wheelchair" that was for me the moment I decided I wasn't giving up.
I proved them wrong! It is now 37 years later and I am still cycling.
After I lost my wife to cancer I told myself I still want to do one thing in my life, riding the push bike from Darwin to Adelaide and I want to do it for children with cancer.
Why Australia? I first came to Australia in 1999 and fell in love with the country and the people. I have returned many times since, now I want to give something back.
So please join me in my big adventure and donate as much as you can spare.
Follow Ton's adventures via his facebook page.
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The Childhood Cancer Association is a fully self-funded organisation and therefore relies on the generous support of the community.
Childhood cancer presents many challenges for the child and their family. It affects not only the child but their brothers and sisters, parents, grandparents, friends and the whole community.
The Childhood Cancer Association provides support to the entire family.
Please help us make the cancer journey easier for these families!