Boorowa cowboy Troy Cross, 31, is one of the best bull riders in the country though injury nearly forced an end to his career.
The adrenaline brought him back to the competition ring, with Wollongong to welcome him in November for the inaugural Rodeo 4 Life.
Cross began riding "beasts" as a teenager with multiple injuries to follow like broken bones, dislocated hips and his "face rearranged". But it was a blood clot to the head that put him on his death bed.
"[I had] two years off, I was retired ... but there was a chip on my shoulder I had to get rid of, and back at it now," he said.
"It's sort of like a drug, it's very addictive and being in competitions too, there's always goals to fill.
"The adrenaline and just knowing you can hold it together when you're just about to nod your head on a beast."
The cowboy will be one of 25 riders to compete for the championship prize of $30,000 at WIN Entertainment Centre later in the year. It also includes a concert from seven-time Golden Guitar winner Travis Collins.
Cross' family also compete at rodeos around the country.
His wife and 6-year-old daughter compete in the barrel races and his 10-year-old son rides calves and is also in the barrel races.
"It's a rare dying breed, the bull rider, but there's plenty of young fella's coming up through the ranks," Cross said.
HOW RODEO 4 LIFE STARTED
An organ transplant is the reason why Wollongong will get a first-of-its-kind bull riding show this November.
Event promoter Doug Vickers was struggling with liver disease but eventually given a life saving operation at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital just over three years ago.
"The most humbling experience you'll ever have is to think that somebody has donated their organs in their death to keep other people alive," Mr Vickers said.
"You can thank people anonymously through the RPA, by letter to the donor, but it's pretty hard to say thanks for giving you your life back.
"Because I promote rodeos, and I come from a rodeo family, I decided to run an event to raise money to help carry out the research which could save a lot more lives in the future."
One hundred per cent of profits will go towards ground breaking research at the RPA Institute which is working to repair and regenerate organs that would otherwise be unsuitable for transplants.
RPA Institute business manager of transplant services Nick Koutalistas said they don't know of anyone else in the world doing these type of research trials. The machines they will use are known as organ machine perfusion.
Their aim is to prolong the life of an organ outside of the body for up to seven days which will allow medical staff to recondition and repair organs for transplant. Examples may be organs that are "too fatty" or are at risk of being rejected by the recipient.
Before his transplant, Mr Vickers said he was "probably like most other people" in hearing about research fundraisers and thinking they were a good idea but soon forgetting.
"You think 'oh that's good' but after a little while you forget," he said. "But by Christ, as soon as it's happening to you you remember a lot quicker and a lot longer."
Rodeo 4 Life, WIN Entertainment Centre, November 30.
Tickets on sale now via: www.ticketmaster.com.au