Sons cycle cross-country for their mum

Riders Lachy Earl, Lewis Hender, Jed Redden, Charlie Hender and Darcy Collett stop off at Racers Cafe at Lake Wendouree on the first stop of their Ride4Rhonda journey. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

Riders Lachy Earl, Lewis Hender, Jed Redden, Charlie Hender and Darcy Collett stop off at Racers Cafe at Lake Wendouree on the first stop of their Ride4Rhonda journey. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

There isn’t a day that passes that Lewis and Charlie Hender don’t miss their mum.

Rhonda Hender passed away from brain cancer in 2014, leaving a huge hole in the lives of her sons and daughter Daisy.

Still struggling to comprehend their loss, Lewis, 23, and Charlie, 21, have decided to channel their sadness into a positive outcome for other families struggling with the same illness.

Over the weekend, the South Australian brothers, along with one cousin, two best mates and three support crew, drove to Melbourne, bicycles in tow.

On Sunday, they pedalled the 131km journey from Melbourne to Ballarat – the first section of a seven-day, 750km journey back to Adelaide.

In doing so, they’re planning to raise enough money to pay for a PhD student to study at the Queensland Brain Institute and help find a cure into the tumour that killed Rhonda.

The boys aren’t experienced bike riders, although they are keen footy players. Lewis plays for North Adelaide while fellow riders Jed Redden and Lachie Earl play for Glenelg.

“It was something we hadn’t done much of before. It was something we could manage but it was a serious challenge as well,” Lewis said.

Charlie explained the group only initially intended to raise $50,000, but had made that mark on Sunday – so decided to raise the goal to $75,000.

“We miss our mum every single day of our lives, all of us,” he said.

“We wanted to do something positive in honour of her. All of us had a connection to her and we want to make a difference for other people like us out there – we want to raise enough to make a bit of a difference.”

To contribute and follow the group’s journey, visit www.facebook.com/Ride4Rhonda