'I won't just be crossing to finish, but for my mother'
TWENTY THREE years ago Norman Crook's mother underwent open heart surgery; a procedure which her family were unsure whether she would make it through.
Now at 85-years-old Edith Crook is still going strong thanks to an abundance of lifestyle changes and ongoing support from her son.
Mrs Crooke said Norman has been looking after her since he was a little boy.
"He used to say to me when he was little that he would take me shopping when I was old," she said.
"And he kept that promise, in fact after my husband moved into an aged care facility home, he took me under his wing and looked after me when I couldn't."
"I would never be able to repay him for all that he's done for me, he is such a wonderful boy with a huge heart; very much like his father.
Norman runs a social mountain bike riding group in Gladstone, with up to 70 members. Last weekend the cyclist rode the 100 km Sunshine Coast CycleFest.
This weekend, he hopes to conquer the Brisbane to Gold Coast Cycle Challenge.
"At first a couple of work mates and I entered for fun and a bit of a personal challenge," he said.
"But when I realised it was a fundraiser for The Heart Foundation, I fully got on board and decided to start up my own fundraising page for the event.
"I want to do everything I can for the organisation, after what my mother and family went through I understand how hard it can be.
"I can't put a price on what her surgery meant to me and my family, so anything I can do for the Heart Foundation and encourage people to ride for better heart health, I will.
"I wont just be crossing to finish, but for my mother and all the hard times we had," he said.
"But I'll also be thinking about how we overcame it, what we have been able to achieve since then and how grateful I am that organisations like the Heart Foundation are able to help and support families in need."
You can support the cause by donating to Norman's page at everydayhero.com/au/norman-crook.