The day of Wayne Christiansen’s triple bypass surgery could almost be described as his rebirth, as it took place on his 64th birthday.
Just over 12 months’ on from that momentous day and Wayne is excited to be one of the first bypass patients to take part in the QSuper Cardiac Challenge, a fundraising bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown.
He first underwent cardiac procedures in 2015 when blockages in his arteries were cleared at Cairns Hospital.
“I just remember I had massive chest pains and I was on the floor in tears. But since the surgery, life’s been amazing. Since my heart operation I ride my bike frequently, I go to the gym at least four days a week, I walk to work,” Mr Christiansen said.
“I took part in cardiac rehab and Pete McNally came and gave a talk about the ride, which inspired me to give it a go, so here I am,” he said.
Mr McNally is the instigator of the ride, which is now in its 17th year, having raised $6 million in that time.
Hosted by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, this year’s ride has attracted 185 cyclists 100 volunteers and 42 supporters who are excited to head to Cooktown from September 16-18.
Foundation Fundraising and Marketing Manager Glenys Duncombe said both Mr Christiansen and Mr McNally were to be commended for their dedication.
“Here we have people who have been through some pretty tough times with their heart, but once they have their doctor’s clearance, they’re willing to saddle up to help others. It’s inspirational,” Ms Duncombe said.
The partnership with QSuper, part of Australian Retirement Trust, enables 100 percent of funds raised in the QSuper Cardiac Challenge to support the purchase of state-of-the-art medical equipment in the region.
Australian Retirement Trust Chief Executive Officer Bernard Reilly said, “Australian Retirement Trust is passionate about supporting our members and the community, including in rural and remote areas where we have a strong heritage.”
“It’s incredibly rewarding for us to see the impact the funds raised for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation have on increasing access to vital health services in these communities,” Mr Reilly said. “The QSuper Cardiac Challenge is a great example of the community coming together to improve the outcomes of those in the region. This year is also special for Australian Retirement Trust, as we have a team participating for the first time. We look forward to cheering them, and all of the other participants on,” he said.
Donations for the QSuper Cardiac Challenge, September 16-18, are open at
Australian Retirement Trust, through the QSuper Cardiac Challenge, supports the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s passion for providing quality healthcare to regions that would otherwise need to travel hundreds of kilometres to receive life-saving care.