FOR THE KIDS: Mathew 'Coxy' Cox is running from Perth to Ipswich to raise money for the Ipswich Hospital Foundation, Children's Sunshine Ward.
FOR THE KIDS: Mathew 'Coxy' Cox is running from Perth to Ipswich to raise money for the Ipswich Hospital Foundation, Children's Sunshine Ward. Rob Williams

Why this Ipswich man will run 4000 km across Australia

BATTLER Mathew "Coxy" Cox plans to run more than 4000km across three states in just four weeks.

The Churchill resident has set himself the massive challenge of running from Perth to Ipswich.

To keep to his schedule he will need to cover 130km every day.

For Matty, a 35-year-old single father who lost everything in the 2011 floods and ended up sleeping under a bridge, it's an opportunity to raise money for the Ipswich Hospital Foundation.

But he's also hoping the experience will help restore his self-esteem and mark the end of what has been a depressing chapter in his life.

In 2011 Matty was living in a house on Jacaranda St.

The entire home except the roof went under water and afterwards Matty's life began to fall apart.

His landscaping business collapsed, he split with his partner, lost his house and his licence.

"I was doing well for a while with the landscaping business," Matty said.

"I was the man with all the toys, working six days a week and enjoying life. Then everything started going pear-shaped.

"It seemed like the harder I tried the more I went backwards.

"I ended up spending a few nights sleeping under the town bridge. I was doubting myself as to why I lost everything, thinking why was this happening to me?

"Eventually I picked myself up and managed to get a great job at the Churchill Abattoir.

"I'd lost my licence so I started jogging to work and I was really enjoying it."

Now Matty is living in a house with two of his three boys and his life seems to be back on track.

He said he has learned not to dwell on the past.

Matty decided to raise money for the Ipswich Hospital Foundation after seeing the organisation was fundraising for a roof over the soon-to-be-built play equipment in the Sunshine Children's Ward.

His goal is to raise $30,000 ahead of the run which is scheduled for June/July.

A support crew will follow Matty throughout the journey, for which he has been training night and day.

Mathew Cox, a single father caring for two sons, had a bad run after the 2011 floods and is hoping the 4000km run will help boost his self-esteem.
Mathew Cox, a single father caring for two sons, had a bad run after the 2011 floods and is hoping the 4000km run will help boost his self-esteem. Rob Williams

"I'm the kind of guy that's always willing to help other people and it just seemed that was never appreciated," Matty said.

"I'm also the kind of guy that sets challenges for himself so I feel like this will restore my passion for helping people and also lift my self-esteem.

"Hospital isn't a great place to be so if I can help brighten those children's day it will be worth it."

River 94.9 FM has already offered to help Matty during his fundraising journey through on-air interviews.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale has also thrown his support behind the campaign saying "Matty's initiative is a credit to the community".

"I won't be running with him, but I will be right behind him," Cr Pisasale said.

"I'm asking everybody to get behind him."

You can make a donation to Matty's cause at everydayhero.com/au.


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