BAROSSA Valley local Lydia Kalleske is over halfway through her journey to Mountain Creek, in Queensland, as she aims to raise funds for her niece, Charlie.
Charlie has been living with Noonan Syndrome, which affects her heart, brain, muscles, speech and immune system, making her often rely on a wheelchair.
The journey for Lydia, as well as her fellow riders, Wil Craig, Carl Joseph and Toby Eggleton, has been, and continues to be, difficult as they will be riding a total of 11,900 km.
However, Mrs Kalleske said it has been all worth it.
“So far, we’ve raised $13,000,” she said.
“It feels really great, we’re very, very happy.
“The money has ensured that Rebekah (Charlie’s mum), Charlie and Brenton (Charlie’s dad) can get over to America and do the things that they need to do over there.
“We’re blown away by the support.”
The riders are currently in Gilgandra, New South Wales, and Mrs Kalleske is surprised at the journey’s difficulty.
“It’s actually been easier than we first thought,” she said.
“We, basically, support each other, listen to each other, we have to be a team.
“On the second day, I woke up and had a slightly sore muscle in the back of my right knee, but the other two riders said do a few kilometres less today and tomorrow while we had the extra rider with us.
“I was able to take a bit off, and did 10 km less than I was going to.
“It’s challenging, but we’re pumped whenever we get to our next stop.”
Mrs Kalleske said she has been overwhelmed by the amount of support that local communities from small country towns have shown them along the way.
“Everywhere we stop, people ask what our T-shirts are about, which is what we’re hopeful for, so we can tell the story,” she said.
“We’ve been blown away by the support, particularly by the truck drivers, they’ve been phenomenal.
“They’ve been radioing ahead for other truckies in front of us, they’ve been giving us heaps of room – the support’s been fantastic.
“A lot of our accommodation has been donated to us as well.”
Mrs Kalleske and the team are expected to arrive in Mountain Creek on July 15, and donations can still be made at www.gofundme.com/charlies-fight