A Grass Patch family are participating in the Ronald McDonald Ride for Sick Kids WA to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House.
Malcolm Longbottom participated in the Ride in 2017, smashing his fundraising goal, and will be joined this year, on the May 5 to 8 Ride, by his wife Christine.
The Longbottoms have had extended stays over the past 17 years at Ronald McDonald House in Perth after their son Brodie was born in 2001 with a rare chromosome disorder.
Christine Longbottom said riding for the House was ‘an offer she couldn’t refuse’.
“I’ve taken up the challenge to raise money for the House it’s an amazing place,” she said.
“What it gives to the families who are going through a difficult time, you can't explain what it gives, it’s amazing.
“When you get sent off to Perth, with the Royal Flying Doctors, only one parent can go.
“So you find that you’re in the hospital by yourself and you’re very alone and very scared.”
It’s like you have a family there because everybody in the House is going through a similar situation.
Ms Longbottom said the House provided support for parents and children struggling with being away from home.
“Everyone up there understands what you’re going through and the staff are just fantastic,” she said.
“You can come home from the hospital at 10:00pm and you’ve got a meal sitting there waiting for you.
“You’ve got your own private room to get away and have your own time.
“There is everything you could possibly need in terms of entertainment.
“It’s a lifeline to know that you’ve got a home to go to.
“It’s like you have a family there because everybody in the House is going through a similar situation.”
Ms Longbottom said she had not ridden a bike for over a decade, but she has an exercise bike at home and has been training on her treadmill.
“I’ve changed my body over the last 10 years to be quite inactive,” she said.
“Because when Brodie gets sick I can sometimes sit beside a hospital bed for two months.
“Telling myself that ‘yes you can do it’, your body starts saying ‘that’s enough give up’ but you have to keep your mind in focus and keep telling yourself ‘you can do it and you will do it’.”
Ms Longbottom said Brodie was very excited when she or her husband spoke about the ride and he was very proud of his dad last year.
“The whole of the Esperance community is behind us and giving us a lot of encouragement,” she said.
“We have a lot of family support.”
Ms Longbottom said it did not matter how much individuals donate because a lot of small donations add up to a big sum.
At the time of publication the Longbottoms had raised over $19,000.
To donate to the Longbottoms click here or visit Longy’s General Welding in Grass Patch.
All donations are tax deductible.