Taking on a 6820 km solo mountain bike ride from the western-most point to the eastern-most point of Australia in 65 days is no mean feat. But Andrew Kerec is doing just that to raise money for people with a spinal cord injury, like his father.

Donations will be split equally between Hartley Lifecare and SpinalCure Australia, with hopes of raising at least $200,000.

What Kerec calls The SpineTingling Ride, started at Steep Point in WA on June 27 goes to Byron Bay, NSW, crossing the Simpson Desert, ending in Canberra on September 11.

“It’s going to be a tough ride, but spinal cord injury is something very close and personal to me, my family and friends because of dad. He was out training for an Ironman event, but everything changed when he was hit by another cyclist,” Kerec said.

“His helmet strap was caught up in the collision, and his spinal cord was damaged beyond current medical capacity to repair, and he remains a ‘complete’ C5 quadriplegic.”

SpinalCure Australia CEO Kathryn Borkovic believes the ride will have a far-reaching positive impact and encourage people with spinal cord injury to enrol in Project Spark, a series of neurostimulation clinical trials now underway in Australia. “Neurostimulation is a promising experimental therapy for SCI capable of being developed in a short timeframe,” she said.

Hartley Lifecare CEO Eric Thauvette, said Andrew, his family and friends have supported Hartley Lifecare in various ways for over 10 years. “The money raised will help us support people with disabilities to live their best lives”, he said.

Photo: Andrew Keric with his father, Ludwig.