THE RIDE CAUSE: Shane and Michelle Rowe of Collingwood Park with their son, Owen, 6.
THE RIDE CAUSE: Shane and Michelle Rowe of Collingwood Park with their son, Owen, 6. David Nielsen

Bikers to turn out in a show of support for Owen

MORE than a hundred bike riders have already signed up to take part in the coming T21 Motorcycle Ride next month, which is a way to build community awareness of Down Syndrome.

Riders will jump on their bikes on Sunday, October 1, and cruise from the Redbank Plaza Shopping Centre out to Lowood, Laidley and Rosewood before finishing at the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club in Kingston.

The charity ride has been run by Collingwood Park residents Michelle and Shane Rowe for the past six years. With help from a family friend, they came up with the idea shortly after their third child Owen was born with Down Syndrome.

"I didn't know a lot about Down Syndrome before Owen was born,” Mrs Rowe said.

"But I did know I wanted to do something to highlight Down Syndrome and Down Syndrome Awareness Month, which is held every October.

"A friend of ours suggested the bike ride. They said if we organise the event they would get a few riders to take part.

"The first ride we had about 27 riders, but I knew I was on to something good after the first ride.”

Since the inaugural ride, the pair got their motorbike licences so they could become part of the motorcycle community that has so generously helped them.

The event has also got bigger each year, with more riders throwing their support behind the event.

All the money raised from the ride goes towards the work of the Down Syndrome Association of Queensland.

"They have a program called the Continued Education Program which started up because of our program,” Mrs Rowe

said.

"We asked for our money to go towards something that directly helps people.

"That is based out in their Stafford office.”

As a mum, Mrs Rowe said she would do anything to help her children, and the ride was a way to help the community recognise that people who have Down Syndrome can live full lives.

"It's not that Owen won't be able to do things, it's just that he is a little delayed,” she said.

"His speech, for example. He is now starting to string sentences together.

"He also goes to a regular school, which we feel is very important.

"His path is going towards an extraordinary life for him.”

If you would like to know more about the ride or donate to the cause, phone Mrs Rowe on 0409 275 545 or like the T21 Motorcycle Ride page on Facebook to keep up to date with the ride.



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