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Riders hit the road to raise money for stem cell surgery

Gladstone's American and British Motorcycle Club raised money for Troy Wengel to go to America for stem cell surgery. Contributed.
Gladstone's American and British Motorcycle Club raised money for Troy Wengel to go to America for stem cell surgery. Contributed.

GEORGE Elliot may have tattoos on both arms and be the president of the American and British Motorcycle Club in Gladstone but he's got a heart of gold.

On Sunday George and his mates got together for a charity ride and raised $1050 for Troy Wengel, who lost his sight after he crashed his motorbike on Kirkwood Rd in 2011.

>> That story, here

Troy's parents, who are both cleaners at Agnes Water State School, are trying to raise as much of the $26,908 needed to pay for Troy's stem cell operation in America which it is hoped will restore his sight.

After reading about Troy's story in The Observer and having lost the sight in one of his eyes, George felt compelled to help the Wengel family out.

"It touched a nerve for me," he said.

"I've lost an eye before and have been through some tough times with anxiety, depression and suicide.

"I know what it's like and it can be very dark. There was a moment and if my wife didn't ring it would have been over for me," he said.

Troy will fly to America for the stem cell surgery in February but George's motorcycle club plan to raise money for the family throughout the year.

The club will try to hold charity rides every fortnight which will be open for anyone to join.

"For the rest of the year we will dedicate our rides to him with all profits going to Irene (Troy's mum)," George said.

"They've got to take out a loan so we will carry on to help them out."

George said he remembered reading about Troy's accident when it occurred.

"But you never hear what happens after," he said.

Similarly, George was involved in a motorbike accident when he was 18-years old which took the life of one of his mates and thinks it's shallow to attack Troy because he had been drinking before his accident.

"I'm dead set against drink driving but people are too quick to judge," he said.

"I had been drinking when another drunk driver did a U-turn in front me.

"None of us should have been on the road," he said.

 Harbour City Harley Davidson are also chipping in with a donation tin.

"It feels good to help," George said.

To find out more information contact George on 0478831993

Topics:  charity, drink driving, gladstone, stem cells



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