When Jed and Leigh Murphy ride the more than 400 kilometres from Ballarat to Mildura their brother Ben will be at the forefront of their minds.
Ben Murphy died in 1984 aged 10. He had a congenital heart disease that severely impacted his life and led to his death. Leigh was three when his brother died, Jed was yet to be born.
On Friday the pair will cycle to raise awareness about childhood heart diseases and raise funds for a cause close to their own hearts – Heart Kids. Leigh’s parents spent years ferrying Ben back and forth from Ballarat to the Royal Children’s Hospital. Ben endured multiple operations and could not do many things most young boys can – like swim, or run very fast.
“Ben had over 10 operations at the Royal Children’s Hospital to try and help him, ultimately they were not successful,” Leigh said.
“He died in the 80s when there was not the services or support for parents and families there is now.”
Jed is a cardiology nurse at the Royal Children’s Hospital. His work led him to understand the grief his own parents would have experienced.
“We tried to think ‘what can we do to raise awareness?’,” Leigh said.
“We decided a bike ride was something we could do, something we wanted to do and something that would really challenge us. We’ve been training six months for this.
“It will be a challenge – but we know it was be anywhere near as tough as what Ben went through, what our parents went through and what other children are going through.”
Heart Kids provides support, encouragement and hope to families of children with Heart Disease, while raising awareness and vital funding into the causes of this chronic disease. The organisation supports families and support research through donations. Jed and Leigh and are hoping to raise in excess of $6000 for the organisation.
“To be able to do this means a lot, particularly to our parents. They are rapt and proud that we are able to this in memory of Ben and to help other families,” Leigh said. “The closer the ride gets, the more meaningful it is. Jed, Leigh and their friend Michael Foster will leave from Mildura on Friday and arrive in Ballarat on Sunday afternoon. To donate click here