Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Two Cancer Deaths in the Family Spur Ron into Action; in a Tribute to His Brother and Father, Ron McLaughlin Has Ridden His Harley around Australia, Writes REBECCA LYNCH

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Two Cancer Deaths in the Family Spur Ron into Action; in a Tribute to His Brother and Father, Ron McLaughlin Has Ridden His Harley around Australia, Writes REBECCA LYNCH

Article excerpt

RON'S Harley-Davidson stirred up clouds of red dust on dry country roads, collected salt from the coastal air, and pushed through icy winds in Southern Australia.

With such a diversity of invigorating experiences, Ron McLaughlin loved every minute of his 18,120km ride around Australia.

The 50-day tour was a tribute to his deceased dad and brother, who both died of cancer.

Ron said losing his dad and

brother Dave to the disease was devastating.

aThey were both too young when they died, and losing a sibling is terrible,a he said.

aDave died Easter last year and dad died in 2002.a

Ron's Harley Ride Around Australia to Help Conquer Cancer also raised money for cancer research, with $26,570 donated so far.

The Kholo resident said he was humbled by the support of Ipswich people, fellow bikers and townspeople and travellers he met along the way.

aIt was amazing, everyday people just gave what they could,a Ron said.

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

aThe 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.

aIt was very humbling.a

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

aI went to my brother's favourite spot a a beach in Mackay a and spent some time there and put a photo of him against a tree, and I did the same for my dad,a he added.

aI felt very close to them at those places.

aThat was the driving force of the ride, really; I rode in their honour and stopped at these spots.a

Meeting people from across Australia and learning about the nation's history was another highlight of the trip.

aIn that time, I realised Australia's a very, very big place,a Ron said. …

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