April 21, 2021

Doing it for dad

Earlier this month David Abud, Senior Theatre Technician, embarked on a 304 kilometre bike ride from Melbourne to Horsham on behalf of his dad, Dr Rodney Abud, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 18 months ago.

Before Rodney was struck with the disease, he worked at the Wimmera Base Hospital in Horsham for nearly 30 years, and treated patients with Alzheimer’s in the later years of his career. He is now in fulltime care at a Heidelberg aged care facility.

David began his three-day journey at Federation Square, and cycled to Ballarat on the first day.

The following day, David rode 90 kilometres to Ararat before making his way to Horsham on the third and final day.

“Dad was my catalyst for doing the bike ride,” David said.

“We spent about seven hours riding on the first day, mainly because of a heavily northerly wind in our face and the last 20 kilometres into Ballarat is all uphill, so we were exhausted at the end of the day.”

“It was about 90 kilometres to Ararat from where I started, it was one degree in the morning and raining for the first hour.”

“The last day from Ararat to Horsham, it was a beautiful day. We had this lovely tailwind. It blew us basically all the way to Horsham so we had a really nice last day.”

David wasn’t alone during his journey. He was accompanied by fellow Northern Health colleagues and his father-in-law, who joined him at different days of the bike ride, cycling side by side. But it was the people who greeted him in Horsham that made the three-day trek extra special.

“When I got to the end, two of my sisters had brought my mum up and she greeted us at the end, so that was a surprise,” he said.

“My mum gave me a hug and said that dad would be very proud. I enjoyed doing the bike ride.”

“The Rotary Club in Horsham met me as well because their 50th anniversary is this year, and my father was a founding member and their second president.”

David also set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, and has raised more than $12,700.

“I am proud, but humbled at the same time. I would like to thank the people who helped me ride. I wouldn’t be able to do it without them,” David said.