Tour de Transplant

THE Bendigo leg of the Tour de Transplant has raised $10,000 for Second Chance Accommodation. 

The group of 25 riders left from La Trobe University Bendigo on Monday morning after arriving in the city on Sunday night. 

Riders were due to arrive in Shepparton last night with the tour ending on March 30 in Melbourne. 

The tour is an initiative of the Heart Lung Transplant Trust and aims to raise money for patient accommodation. 

The program funds rental apartments close to The Alfred hospital, which patients can stay in for three months following their transplant, as they recover mentally and physically. 

Bendigo leg ambassador Penny Davies, whose son Justin underwent two double lung transplants, said the support for the tour had been tremendous. 

Ms Davies said staying in Melbourne after a transplant was not an option for some families because of the financial pressures. 

"Imagine trying to stay in St Kilda or Chapel Street for three months," she said. 

It is no longer a death sentence. - Phil Anderson

"Lots of families just can't afford it.

"We had to fund it ourselves - it was tough."

Australian cycling legend and tour leader Phil Anderson said three of the riders on the tour had transplants. 

"As a kid, I remember overseas, transplants were ground breaking," he said.

"Now the miracle is done in Australia and people are able to ride bikes.

"It is no longer a death sentence."

Mr Anderson said the ride was about raising awareness and money for the Heart Lung Transplant Trust. 

"The trick is getting people to be donors," he said.

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