ONE of the highlights of the Sleep Out Shoalhaven event was the return of charity bike rider Dr Mick Davey.
Dr Davey spent almost six months cycling more than 13,580 kilometres around Australia.
He raised $25,000 for the Kids With Cancer Foundation, which assists country parents with accommodation costs when they have to accompany their children to capital cities for treatment.
He arrived at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre shortly after 6.30pm on Saturday to a rousing reception.
“It’s a really long way on a bike but I loved it,” he told the assembled crowd.
“The Australian people in every town we went to were so generous. It was great to be able to give young cancer sufferers some hope.”
He said it was humbling to see so many people at the entertainment centre to welcome him and his wife Barbie, who accompanied him on his marathon journey.
“I learned the significant effect of the power of hope. When children suffering cancer found out how I was helping them, they suddenly had more hope and with hope came courage, and with courage came determination to overcome their cancer. It was such an important lesson for me to learn – helping others gives hope.”
He averaged between 230km and 250km per day on the bike but had set himself the goal of completing a 300km day in the saddle, something he achieved as he crossed the Nullarbor.
The author of the best-selling memoir Journey of Hope, Dr Davey is already planning another trip around the country, this time by car or even on a motorised skateboard.
Vanessa Senior from the Kids With Cancer Foundation said Dr Davey’s effort was incredible.
“One hundred per cent of all the money raised by Dr Davey will go directly to the foundation to help kids and their families,” she said.
“We can’t thank Dr Davey for his amazing efforts enough, we are so grateful.”