Olympian rides Brisbane to Byron and back for fundraiser

PEDAL POWER: Olympian Robbie McEwen (centre) joins organiser Paul Mellers and other cyclists on the Tour for Alpers bike ride from Brisbane to Byron Bay and back again to raise money for medical research.
PEDAL POWER: Olympian Robbie McEwen (centre) joins organiser Paul Mellers and other cyclists on the Tour for Alpers bike ride from Brisbane to Byron Bay and back again to raise money for medical research.

PAUL Mellers is cycling 400km from Brisbane to Byron Bay and back again to raise funds for research into Alpers syndrome.

Mr Meller's four-year-old nephew Hugh suffers from the rare genetic disorder.

"I thought I'd get on my bike to do something I love for someone I love," Mr Mellers said in Byron on Friday as he prepared for his return trip.

Mr Mellers was joined on the Tour for Alpers ride by about 30 other riders including Olympian and Tour de France stage winner Robbie McEwen.

"Alpers' is a mitochondrial disease, a bit like Parkinson's disease," Mr Mellers said.

"Unfortunately, Hugh's had a lot of seizures, has almost had liver failures. There's been some miracles along the way but it's very life shortening."

The diamond salesman has raised $47,000 since December and has donated a combined $40,000 to two geneticists in Melbourne and Sydney.

"It's not just for Hugh but for all the kids with these sort of diseases," Mr Mellers said.

"I'd love to keep riding to do this to help people."

This is the second time in two years Mr Mellers has held the Tour for Alpers ride.

Visit http://www.hughie.org.au to donate, or for more information.



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