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Cycling champion spins the wheels for LifeFlight

It will take more than a debilitating elbow injury to stop the wheels spinning on Chevonne Arrowsmith honouring her late father in the LifeFlight Tour de Rescue fundraising cycle challenge.

For Chevonne from Brisbane, cycling and fundraising in the Tour de Rescue on August 13 is personal because LifeFlight gave him a fighting chance after he was involved in a motorcycle accident in 2010.

Chevonne’s father, Allan was airlifted from the scene of his motorcycle accident on the Esk-Kilcoy Road at Somerset, by RACQ LifeFlight Rescue but tragically passed away later in hospital. 

“When dad had his accident, LifeFlight airlifted him to hospital. They gave him every chance of survival. Because he didn’t die on the side of the road, his death was able to save a number of lives through organ donation,” said Chevonne.

“When something really bad happens, you have to try and hold onto the good. If it wasn’t for LifeFlight I wouldn’t have had anything to hold onto. To donate your organs you have to be on life-support in a hospital environment. My dad’s death wasn’t in vain because LifeFlight was able to airlift him to hospital.”

“When something really bad happens, you have to try and hold onto the good. If it wasn’t for LifeFlight I wouldn’t have had anything to hold onto.

Cycling in Honour

Chevonne decided to give back to the organisation by competing in the 2015 Base to Base Cycling challenge for the aeromedical charity, which raised vital funds for the rescue helicopter service.

Chevonne raised more than $3000 for the lifesaving organisation, but this wasn’t her only success.

As one of the only women to finish the gruelling 230km course, Chevonne was inspired to compete at a State and National level, after being introduced to cycling in the same year.

“Finishing the Base to Base cycling challenge gave me such belief to go harder and stronger,” remembers Chevonne, who began racing in A-grade competitive cycling championships following the event.



“I used cycling as an outlet for my grief after Dad died. Cycling became a way for me to cope. Cycling pretty much saved my life.”

Having the opportunity to rub shoulders with Australian cycling champion and three-time green jersey Tour de France winner, Robbie McEwen, who rode in the LifeFlight event, also encouraged Chevonne to pursue her dreams.

“It was awesome riding with Robbie. We chatted about family, kids and cycling,” she said.

“Since then I’ve met him again on the competitive circuit and he always stops to have a chat and he even gives me tips.” 

But it was a career that nearly ended when she was training for the France World Championships on the popular inner-city Brisbane circuit around Mt Coot-tha last month.

“I was training on my local circuit when a car pulled out in front of me. I crashed my bike trying to avoid the car and shattered my elbow quite badly,” said Chevonne.

 

Chevonne's right elbow was badly injured in the accident

Despite the setback, Chevonne has been keeping up a dedicated indoor training regime and still hopes to take part in LifeFlight’s Tour de Rescue cycling challenge once again. It’s a cause close to her heart and that of many others.

“All participants receive a cycling kit and I often wear mine while training. When I’m stopped, people will come up to me and start telling me about their rescue stories and experiences with LifeFlight,” said Chevonne.

“You never know when it could be you, a family member or a friend – especially if you’re in the cycling community.”

LifeFlight’s Tour de Rescue cycle event and fundraising challenge will cover a new, 155km course which will take riders from North Brisbane to LifeFlight's Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore base on Sunday, August 13.

Participants will again have the chance to ride alongside Australian cycling champion, Robbie McEwen on the ‘Ride to Save Lives’. 

LifeFlight’s Tour de Rescue is more than just an opportunity to raise money for a lifesaving organisation. It’s a chance to bond and ride with passionate community-minded cyclists.

“I’ve made so many life-long friends from the ride. We all become a bit of a LifeFlight family,” said Chevonne 

“You’re not just raising money for a worthwhile charity, you’re getting a lot out of it as well.”

LifeFlight is a community-based charity that relies on donations from the public and community support.

To register for LifeFlight’s Tour de Rescue cycling event and join the ‘ride to save lives’ visit http://tinyurl.com/LFTDRrego or phone the event organiser, Fiona on 0475 776 511.

To support LifeFlight visit:
https://www.lifeflight.org.au/page/support-us/