By Declan Byrne
It was a gruelling 427 kilometres, but brother and sister duo Allana and Matt Dickie say the ride to help their best friend was worth it.
The siblings rode from Perth to Geraldton over four days last weekend to raise money for Callan Bancilhon, who was just 12-years-old when a devastating motocross accident took away his motor skills.
Allana says that despite Callan being told he will never walk again, the 25-year-old has never given up hope.
“Cal has a never say never attitude, he doesn’t let anything stop him. Throughout his whole life he’s had things thrown at him but he just continues to push through… he’s inspirational,” she said.
The ‘casual riders’ raised $11,000 to go toward treatment which may see Callan walk and ride unaided some 13 years after his injury.
“I’m not a rider… I just wanted to get Cal’s story out there. I saw it as a challenge that was going to physically and mentally push me to my limit which is what Cal has had to do for a lot of his life,” Allana said.
Having overcome his initial diagnosis, Callan set a new goal of being able to walk unaided as well as eventually getting back on a motorbike.
Cal’s Will to Walk project has raised more than $40,000 overall, enough for Callan to travel to the United States and receive world class treatment at Project Walk, a paralysis recovery centre.
Matt said he was more than happy to complete the marathon journey with his sister to help Callan.
“Riding to ‘Gero’ was Allana’s idea, the Ride for Cal… she just asked me out of the blue and I said ‘no worries, let’s do it’,” he said.
One thing that impressed Matt almost as much as Callan’s determination was the generosity of both friends and complete strangers.
“This wouldn’t have happened without the sponsors. Dickies Tree Service for organising and paying for the whole ride, and people like Geraldton Bikes for paying for spares and giving advice, we literally couldn’t have done it without them.”
Although the journey to Geraldton is over, Callan’s dream to walk and ride again continues.
You can read more about his story and donate here.