This year would have marked 30 years for the Brissie to the Bay ride that sees a loyal community of riders hit the streets to raise money to fight Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Due to the government restrictions for COVID-19 the event has been cancelled with a new idea put in place.
Like many things happening in society, the MS Brissie to the Bay is going virtual and riders will be doing their selected distance around their own local areas.
Logan local Charlie Bennett and his team, Team Jenny, is one of the biggest fundraisers for the fight and Charlie and Jenny are two of the nicest and inspiring people you will meet.
Charlie’s wife Jenny, for which the team is named, was diagnosed with MS when just a teenager. Progressively over time Jenny’s physical condition has become worse however she is as active as possible and is the key contact for the Logan Multiple Sclerosis Support Group. Charlie and Jenny are also MS Queensland Ambassadors with Jenny attending functions to speak about MS.
With World MS Day just past, May 30th, Team Jenny had raised over $40,000 for MS Queensland. Charlie posted on Facebook ‘Team Jenny has reached 40k. Absolutely incredible. Thanks very much to all our sensational supporters and donors. We are so grateful and because of your generosity we are helping people suffering with this terrible terrible disease. But we are not done yet.’
In 2013 Charlie became Jenny’s full-time carer and the pair would attend the Brissie to the Bay events as part of the MS Cheer Club. Working before and during the event to raise money, support the riders and help promote MS Queensland.
It was 2015 when Charlie decided he wanted to ride the event and began training. Having not ridden a push bike for around 15 years he knew it would be a challenge but something he wanted to do. With that, Charlie purchased a bike from K-Mart and set out training for the 25km event.
Doing laps of the Loganlea roads, Charlie’s fitness grew and as the event came closer he thought it would be better to enter the 50km ride.
“I decided while training that I would do the 50km ride”, said Charlie.
“The event was nothing like I had trained for, this had hills,” he said laughing.
As time went on Charlie’s commitment to the ride grew and over the years the bikes he purchased improved along with his fitness and training. He said the event is a happy day with friendly people everywhere and everyone is smiling.
“The more and more I get in this I see that people have hearts as big as Phar Lap.
“We are trying to raise funds for this nasty thing”.
Team Jenny is not just about cycling. While Charlie and others on the team ride each year at the event, others are supporters and each has something important to do. While raising the funds is one of the main goals, it is also about raising awareness of MS.
Jenny said I want to raise the money so a cure can be found. It may not help me but for the younger people.
“We live day to day and don’t know what the next day will be like”, said Jenny.
There are 30 days in June and Charlie has said he will be doing 1000kms over the course of the month. That means that every day on average Charlie will be riding just over 33kms. This is a solid commitment and with people sponsoring every kilometre he rides he is determined to make the full distance.
You can help Charlie and Team Jenny reach and exceed their target by visiting the Team Jenny Facebook page.
“One day we want to never hear someone get told they have MS,” said Charlie.