Mum to use pedal power in fund-raising quest

Kristin Mathiassen with her son, 12 year old Lucah Dunn. Photo by Scott Gelston

Kristin Mathiassen with her son, 12 year old Lucah Dunn. Photo by Scott Gelston

AN Evandale mother will complete a 12-day bike ride to raise funds for the Tasmanian Special Olympic team in October, with her son Lucah along for part of the ride.

Kristin Mathiassen will ride solo from St Helens to Bruny Island and then to Hobart for "Lucah's Ride", hoping not only for sponsorship but to raise recognition for Special Olympians.

The event's namesake, Lucah Dunn, has Down syndrome and developed leukaemia at 2 1/2 years of age.

Lucah, now 12, went into remission seven years ago but later developed hearing complications and epilepsy.

Ms Mathiassen hopes to raise awareness about the existence of Special Olympians and their many achievements.

"I think with Special Olympics they don't get the coverage they need - they need to be brought to the forefront," she said.

"They're out there, they want to be on the front page and they deserve it just as much."

Lack of funding was another major hurdle for potential Special Olympians, she said.

"They don't have sponsorship - many are living in group homes, often with older parents who have passed away," she said.

"Many end up not being able to go because they don't have the money to get there, which is pretty disappointing."

Ms Mathiassen leaves on October 14 with Lucah and their smithfield border collie, Ivy.

"She's the sports therapist, the counsellor," Ms Mathiassen said.

"When she gets tired she jumps in the back with Lucah."

To donate contact Special Olympics Australia on 62289321 or www.specialolympics.com.au/give

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