When Tim Brayshaw lines up in his astronaut suit and red rocket on the launch pad of the Moomba Birdman Rally, he'll be taking the plunge in to the Yarra River for a greater good - children with neurological diseases.
As founder of the Ballarat-based Moondreamz charity he wants to inspire sick kids, particularly those with brain diseases, to live their dreams and to remember that nothing is impossible.
And his ultimate goal is to build a hospital specifically for children with neurological disorders.
Mr Brayshaw and his 'launch crew' the Tasic family have been building and testing the design of the red rocket for the past few weeks, and his mum Donna spent three nights sewing the fabric shell that covers the PVC pipe frame of the rocket.
Jumping off the 3m tall Portarlington pier, Mr Brayshaw has managed to propel the red rocket a distance of 7.5m - and on Sunday March 8 when he lines up against other competitors in the 'flop' category of the Birdman Rally the platform will be 4m above the water so he hopes to go further.
"I've been in the gym doing lots of squats and sprints," he joked.
The finishing touches and logos still need to be added to the rocket, but it made its public debut last week when Moomba organisers asked Mr Brayshaw and the Tasics to be part of the official Moomba media launch where comedians Julia Morris and Nazeem Hussain were crowned the king and queen of Moomba 2020.
The Tasic family are big supporters of the Moondreamz charity as Will, 13, has the rare neurological condition recurrent optical neuritis caused by anti-MOG - an inflammation of the optic nerve between his eyes and brain. In addition to affecting the optic nerve it also affects the spinal cord and is similar to multiple sclerosis.
"From our family's point of view it's super exciting to be part of the launch team," said mum Angie Tasic.
"With Will's illness there are the physical challenges but there's also the emotional and wellness challenges behind the scenes for Will and the whole family. Something like this, something exciting and energetic like this is motivation to jump on board."
Mr Brayshaw and the Tasics have also teamed up to organise the inaugural Moondreamz Ball - A Night Under the Moonlight at The George on Friday February 21.
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They are expecting about 300 people to attend, who will hear from Royal Children's Hospital neurologist and Will's treating doctor Professor Andrew Kornberg, Ms Tasic and other speakers while Gorgi Coghlan will host the event.
"It's important to have something like this in Ballarat because, especially as Will's disease is quite rare, you feel isolated. As well as raising awareness and having fun, we want to show Ballarat families going through the same thing that we are here for them and can help - they are not alone."
Tickets to the Moondreamz Ball are still available.
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