Hard bike ride to make Gracie’s life easier

Her legs might burn and the hill climbs might be brutal but Susan Wallis is determined to ride from Canberra to Wollongong to raise money for Para Meadows School.

Ms Wallis and seven teammates will head off on the three-day Telstra Kiama Raw Hide Ride on Friday morning with the goal of raising enough money to install four airconditioners at the school for students with special needs.

Ms Wallis’s daughter, Gracie, 8, attends the North Wollongong school. She has severe and multiple disabilities and cannot regulate her own temperature.

The airconditioners will go a long way towards making Gracie and other students with similar issues controlling their body temperature more comfortable.

The team has raised about $10,500 and hopes to raise at least $13,000, which will cover the cost of four units if an installer donates their time. Ms Wallis said while the ride would be tough, it was the least she could do to assist the school that had helped her daughter so much.

‘‘This is our comfort zone and we’re just very appreciative,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve done physically but it’s nothing compared to what Gracie’s been through and what the other kids have been through, so it’s the least I can do for them.’’

Jamberoo Pub is providing accommodation for the riders and hosting a barbecue on Sunday night.

The ride finishes at 10.30am at Para Meadows on Monday.

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