What’s rowing got to do with riding your bike to Cooktown?
Everything, for father and son cyclists Shane and Kai Pue who are saddling up for the life-saving QSuper Cardiac Challenge bike ride for the fifth and third times respectively.
At the age of 17, Kai Pue underwent open heart surgery for a pacemaker and mechanical valve to be inserted.
The promising soccer player had been unwell his whole life and while the surgery was traumatic, it has had an obvious impact on his philosophy.
Now aged 23, Kai says he doesn’t remember much of his pain in childhood but says life was a struggle.
“Finding a way to hold on to hope was very difficult but giving up was not an option. There was always a side of me that had to deal with sickness and heart pain, every day and every week,” Kai said.
“If I’ve learnt anything in my life, it’s not to give up hope, stay brave, stay patient, keep your loved ones close and your dreams even closer. There are many of us out there with cardiac problems and there are many of us out there who are not brave enough to tell anyone.”
Now the co-owner of a gym and a regular participant in the QSuper Cardiac Challenge, Kai and his family have organised a rowing challenge fundraiser on June 24.
“Dad (Shane) and I are riding in the Cardiac Challenge again. We’re encouraging everyone to come down to the gym, take part in the free strength session and watch the first rowers. We’ve never done anything like this before but we’re going to give it a red hot go,” he said.
The QSuper Cardiac Challenge is an annual fundraising bike ride hosted by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation in partnership with QSuper, part of Australian Retirement Trust, raising funds for cardiac and associated health issues in the region.
Since the ride’s inception almost 17 years ago, almost $6 million has been raised for cardiology, by the Foundation.
Foundation CEO Gina Hogan said the Pue family was an inspiration to all, with their determination and dedication to see past their own struggles, to help others. “People like Kai and his Dad Shane inspire us to keep going with events such as this because we know we’re making a real difference to real people,” Mrs Hogan said.
Australian Retirement Trust Chief Executive Officer Bernard Reilly said that the QSuper Cardiac Challenge is an example of Australian Retirement Trust’s passion for supporting members and the community, including in rural and remote areas where the fund has a strong heritage.
“It’s incredibly rewarding for us to see the real impact the funds raised for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation have on improving 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.
Registrations for the QSuper Cardiac Challenge, September 16-18, are open until July 31 at www.cardiacchallenge.com.au
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 and QSuper share 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.
Support their fundraising efforts here: https://fnqhffundraising.fnqhf.org.au/cardiacchallenge2023/t/blvefitness/Team/Details