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Countdown to Nathan’s big ride

Posted: 7am 12 Feb 2021

Nathan McDowell is training hard and counting down the days to his 110km ride from Noosa to Redcliffe next month.

He will set-off from Kings Park at Noosa on March 8 and arrive at Redcliffe on March 13.

The 30-year-old was diagnosed with Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) more than 10 years ago and hopes to raise awareness of the condition, and money to research a cure and secure his future.

PMD is a condition that affects the central nervous system and is associated with abnormalities of the white matter of the brain and spinal cord. Mr McDowall said he was one of only a handful of people to live as long as he has.

He is also legally blind, has cerebral palsy, spina bifida, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Mr McDowell is being supported by Holistic Horizons Disability Support Services Queensland, which is based at Margate.

Welcome Nathan home

Julie Latcham, who is part of that support team, wants a big crowd to welcome Nathan home at Suttons Beach Pavilion on March 13. He is expected to arrive about 11am.

“It will be a fun celebration to acknowledge his achievement,” she said.

Ms Latcham said 10 per cent of food and drink sales at the venue would be donated to Nathan’s fundraising efforts. There will also be raffle tickets sold on the day.

Supporters have already held fundraising events but are hoping businesses and the community will back Mr McDowell. A Go Fund Me page has been set up, with a goal of $50,000, and has so far raised about $1400.

Mr McDowell has been training hard most days and, while he is nervous, he is determined to achieve his goal.

“He’s been wanting to do a big ride for a couple of years now,” Ms Latcham said.

How he’s going to do it

Mr McDowell will be using a modified bicycle, with all the controls he needs at his fingertips.

“I can’t ride a normal bike, but I can get up to 35km/h down a hill or 10km/h on the flat on my bike,” Mr McDowell explained.

“It’s free, it’s fast, it’s freedom. Wheels give me freedom.”

Supporters planning to head to the welcome home event are being encouraged to register on eventbrite.com.au. Head to the Nathan McDowell facebook page for details.

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