Ron McLaughlin has completed his fundraising ride around Australia for cancer in 50 days and his happy with the result.
Ron McLaughlin has completed his fundraising ride around Australia for cancer in 50 days and his happy with the result. David Nielsen

No easy ride for cancer but $31,000 worth it

HE RODE 18,200km over 50 days, but Ron McLaughlin is itching to get out on the road to do it all again.

Late last year Mr McLaughlin, from Kholo, rode his Harley-Davidson around Australia to raise money for cancer research.

The testing tour was a tribute to his father and brother, who both died of cancer.

Remarkably, Ron's Harley Ride Around Australia to Help Conquer Cancer raised $31,000.

He gave all the money he raised to the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) in the hope it will contribute to a cure for cancer.

"I'd like to do the whole thing again," Mr McLaughlin said.

"It's still off in the distance, mainly because I've had some ill-health lately."

But he was still overwhelmed and overjoyed about the support he received from the Ipswich community from Australia in general.

"There are quite a lot of local and Ipswich businesses that helped me and supported me from Paul Pisasale down, really," he said.

"I went on River 94.9 to say thank you - and their support as well - and the QT as well."

While modest about what he did, he admitted the $31,000 result was "really something".

"Especially for just one guy," he said.

"I'm not a millionaire, I'm just an Ipswich local lad on wages and this is all my thinking and doing and organisation and I funded the whole thing myself.

"Every cent that I raised went to the cancer research; I didn't recoup anything out of that.

"I'd like to do another one and that was my thought even during the ride. That's how good it was and the support that you have, you really need your support, even if it's not monetary support."

Straight after the ride, he said he had been humbled by the support of Ipswich people, fellow bikers and townspeople and travellers he met along the way.

"It was amazing; every day people just gave what they could," he said.

"Some kids donated their pocket money and other people donated what they could - a room for the night, a tank of fuel or a meal.

"The response was overwhelming. I was riding for my family, but people I met asked that I ride in the memory of family members they'd lost to cancer, too.

"It was very humbling."

Ron said the epic journey also allowed him to visit his dad's and brother's favourite places.

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