Why this man is set to clock 50,000kms on his bike
He broke his neck, suffered seven stroked and had to learn to walk, talk and eat again and now this American cyclist donned in pink is on track to crack riding 50,000km for a cause close to his heart.
Brent Bundy has spent the past few days in Noosa as he journeys from Sydney to Cairns on his push bike to raise awareness for breast cancer.
Sixteen years ago he lost his best friend Gina Kondos to the disease. She was 34 with three children under 10.
“It still feels like yesterday,” Mr Bundy said.
The 51-year-old from Oregon embarked on his one-year cycle of Australia two months ago, and along with his pink bike full of signatures, is hoping to stop cancer in its tracks.
“Because one in two Australians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, I’m putting my body to the test to raise funds and show my support.”
While he admitted he was no athlete, something has to be said for someone who has already ridden 45,000km across the United States six times over a 12-year period.
“I first rode across America from Oregon to New York in 2006 to raise awareness for people make sure they detect cancer before its too late.”
“It was too late for Gina, hers was discovered at Stage 4.”
With a love for Australia and making a difference he decided to drum up support here and as well as waves from passers-by, Mr Bundy has been collecting signatures from those he meets on his travels.
“So far I’ve had over 2000 signatures from Australians signed on my bike,” he said.
“I get much of a reaction here, more than in America, a lot of people honk.”
“They see the colour and they know what’s going on.”
But is hasn’t always been an easy ride for Mr Bundy who had a serious car accident in 1997.
“I broke my neck and had seven strokes and when I came out of a coma I had to learn everything again,” he said.
“It was a two year recovery.”
The one person by his bedside during his ordeal was Gina, and the reason he is so determined to do something to help others.
Mr Bundy admitted the pain of loosing Gina was still raw 16 years on and riding was one of the only ways to ease the heartache.
“When I’m riding it’s the only way I don’t hurt because I can focus my pain on something else.”
While he has no itinerary set, Mr Bundy plans to cycle up to Cairns before making his return trip to Sydney.
He has also created a fundraiser page through Cancer Council Australia to help Australians and their families battling a diagnosis.