Kevin Jose, Artemis Mainou-Sifoonios, 13, Barry Ria, Kassandra Mainou-Sifoonios and Riley Hermann.
Kevin Jose, Artemis Mainou-Sifoonios, 13, Barry Ria, Kassandra Mainou-Sifoonios and Riley Hermann. Mike Richards GLA190119BCWC

‘So blown away’: Bikers give teen gift of first swim

THE Loners Social Motorcycle Club has given a 13-year-old Gladstone girl the gift of her first swim in the sea.

The club surprised Artemis Marinou-Sifoonios at Tannum Sands beach on Sunday with an all-access wheelchair.

Artemis was born with cerebral palsy and recently moved to Gladstone with her mum Anne and sister Kassie.

"We visited Gladstone last year and were so impressed we sold our home in Sydney and moved here," Anne said.

"It's a beautiful place and the people are wonderful.

"Sadly we couldn't get Artemis's wheelchair across the sand at the beach so she could go swimming."

Fortunately help was at hand in the shape of some big-hearted bikers.

Peter Brodie said his club was always looking for ways to help people.

"When I found out about Anne's problem I took it to the club," he said.

"A week later a member, Eddie, sent me a photo of a special wheelchair with big, fat tyres for crossing sand.

"He said: 'Will this do because we just bought it?'

"They organised some time off work and a trailer to pick it up from Brisbane."

 

The group then came up with a novel way to present the chair to the family.

"I contacted Kassie and told her to have Artemis at Tannum Beach at 11am on Sunday," Peter said.

"Then I told Anne I was taking her for a bike ride to Yeppoon that day."

Ms Marinou said she didn't have a clue what was happening.

"I wondered why we were going to Yeppoon via Tannum?" she said.

"Then we pulled into the carpark next to the surf club and I saw the van and my daughters and everyone else.

"I was so blown away I started crying."

Artemis was quickly wheeled into the water for a dip with her friends and family.

"She was so happy, she loved being in the water and being the centre of attention," Ms Marinou said.

"I can't thank the club enough, what an amazing bunch of people.

"They're real softies."

The club surprised Artemis Marinou-Sifoonios at Tannum Sands beach on Sunday with an all-access wheelchair.

Artemis was born with cerebral palsy and recently moved to Gladstone with her mum Anne and sister Kassie.

"We visited Gladstone last year and were so impressed we sold our home in Sydney and moved here," Anne said.

"It's a beautiful place and the people are wonderful.

"Sadly we couldn't get Artemis's wheelchair across the sand at the beach so she could go swimming."

Fortunately help was at hand in the shape of some big-hearted bikers.

Peter Brodie said his club was always looking for ways to help people.

"When I found out about Anne's problem I took it to the club," he said.

"A week later a member, Eddie, sent me a photo of a special wheelchair with big, fat tyres for crossing sand.

"He said: 'Will this do because we just bought it?'

"They organised some time off work and a trailer to pick it up from Brisbane."

The group then came up with a novel way to present the chair to the family.

"I contacted Kassie and told her to have Artemis at Tannum Beach at 11am on Sunday," Peter said.

"Then I told Anne I was taking her for a bike ride to Yeppoon that day."

Ms Marinou said she didn't have a clue what was happening.

"I wondered why we were going to Yeppoon via Tannum?" she said.

"Then we pulled into the carpark next to the surf club and I saw the van and my daughters and everyone else.

"I was so blown away I started crying."

Artemis was quickly wheeled into the water for a dip with her friends and family.

"She was so happy, she loved being in the water and being the centre of attention," Ms Marinou said.

"I can't thank the club enough, what an amazing bunch of people.

"They're real softies."



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