Motorcycles roar for a good cause
TO PROMOTE Down syndrome awareness, Collingwood Park mother of three Michelle Rowe wanted to do something that would be sure to grab people's attention.
And what could be more eye-catching than the sight and sound of a hundred motorbikes careering through the streets in a parade of leather and crome?
After her youngest son Owen, 2, was diagnosed with Down syndrome, Mrs Rowe joined the campaign to promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with the condition.
She is now the driving force behind the annual Down syndrome Awareness Motorcycle Run which will see bikers ride 180km through the streets of Ipswich next month.
Mrs Rowe said she was worried when Owen was diagnosed with Down syndrome because she wasn't sure how his condition would affect the family.
"I had no knowledge or experience with how to look after someone with Down syndrome," she said.
"But I soon realised that he was no different to anyone else, he just needed a little extra help. "Owen has enriched our family's lives in so many ways that I could not imagine life without him."
The 43-year-old said she had organised the motorcycle run in line with National Down Syndrome Awareness week.
The ride will roll out from Evan Marginson Park at 9am and snake its way through the heart of the Scenic Rim.
It will finish at Leichhardt Park in One Mile where riders will be welcomed by friends and family of the Down syndrome community.
"The idea for the run was suggested last year by a friend of the family, and motorcycle enthusiast, Matt Evans," Mrs Rowe said.
"Without much time to promote it, we had about 30 riders take part.
"We have been much more organised this year though, and expect about 100 to 200 bikers."
Mrs Rose said she wanted to promote Down Syndrome Awareness week to help empower people with the condition.
"People with Down syndrome wear their disorder on their face, but they are no different," she said.
The ride will take place on Sunday, October 6. People interested in participating can register at Evan Marginson Park in Goodna at 8am at a cost of $20 per rider. For more details visit 'Down Syndrome Awareness Motorcycle Run' on Facebook.