Writte by Hayley Godfrey
A Hervey Bay man’s attempt to shine a light on inclusivity in the disabled community and raise money for charity will be no easy feat.
However, Rod Gothe is determined to take on a legendary adventure, travelling from Hervey Bay to Melbourne via Sydney in three different mobility chairs to raise funds for local charity Community Flights.
The charity, which started flying in July this year, provides a flexible, safe, and free transport service to bring patients from their nearest regional airport to their medical treatment or services destination.
Rod said he will be stopping at towns and cities along the way, not only to learn about the disabilities of others but also to spread his message and raise awareness.
Residents of those regions will be invited to walk or wheel with Rod for a short distance to have a chat about life and the reasons behind choosing to help this vital charity.
“I don’t see myself as disabled really,”
“I just say that I get a comfortable chair!
“I don’t really feel that disabled to be honest and I guess most of us don’t really. Sometimes it’s a choice, sometimes it’s not.
“If the glass can be at least half full, your life is 100 times better than if your glass is half empty.” Rod said.
This quote echoes the philosophy of one Rod’s heroes; Julius Sumner Miller who famously said, ‘it’s not empty, it’s full of air’.
Rod said the use of three different chairs – including a manual wheelchair with a powered wheel on the front, an electric 4WD wheelchair, and a mobility scooter – was so that other wheel-chair bound people could relate to him in some way.
There will also be a trailer on the back of the chairs carrying extra batteries in case of a breakdown on the three-month journey.
The Fraser Coast community can cheer Rod on and donate through live streaming on YouTube via Accessible Globe TV, plus find out which celebrities will join him on the adventure of a lifetime.
Rod will leave Hervey Bay in June next year.