'Heart torn out': Mates ride for family in 'hell'
IN AN effort to help a family going through "hell" the Gladstone community turned out in force and dug deep to support Frankie Beresford who has been battling acute myeloid leukaemia since February.
Although the organiser for the Ride For Frankie, Paul Mitchell, said only 40 people said they were going to the event before today, an early count of registered riders was sitting at 132.
"I work with Duncan and I know he's got a big heart and seeing the turn out here today shows how many people in Gladstone have a massive heart," Mr Mitchell said.
"So many of us have kids and we can only imagine what Kate and Duncan (Frankie's parents) are going through.
"But it's hard because it's an up and down fight for them and there's a lot of financial, emotional and personal stress...just imagine having your heart torn out one minute, put back in the next and then torn out again with more bad news," he said.
Since Frankie was diagnosed in February both Kate and Duncan haven't been able to work while they stay by her bedside at the Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane.
The costs associated with just being there for their darling three-year-old daughter are huge and Mr Mitchell said all money donated today would go to the Beresford family.
He said the hospital parking costs alone were $3750.
"This about giving them access to their daughter," Mr Mitchell said.
"Because of the parking costs they had to stop doing that and what that now means is that both parents can't be with Frankie at the same time.
"This is about helping a family be together when they need to be," he said.
Jess Beresford, Frankie's aunt, said she had been overwhelmed by the community support and had shed tears of joys this morning.
"It just proves living in a small community everyone gets behind you...I firmly believe that it's this love, support and generosity that's keeping Frankie alive," she said.
"It's literally hell what they're going through and I was talking to Kate the other day and she said that it was one thing to go through watching your kid go through intense chemo but now to see her going through severe withdrawals was whole new level.
"Initially the Go Fund Me page was set up to pay for parking...initially they were told they be there three months but here we are 10 months later and she's still there," she said.
Mrs Beresford said Frankie was still in a serious but stable condition and enjoyed her first ice block on Saturday.
"She still has long periods of rest but now when she's awake she can say a few words which is really nice," she said.
The Ride For Frankie went from Gladstone to Bororen to pick up riders coming from Bundaberg and then onto Raglan where riders from Rockhampton would meet them at the Raglan Tavern for drinks and a raffle.