A Melbourne man who suffered a life-changing stroke at the age of 12 has been travelling through Eyre Peninsula in South Australia as part of an ambitious physical challenge.
Tommy Quick is riding a three-wheel bicycle, known as a recumbent trike, on a 9000-kilometre journey to the four furthest points of Australia.
The 28-year-old was set to begin his ride in Western Australia, but tweaked his plans due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Instead, he set off from Border Village, on the SA-WA border, on August 6 and is currently travelling through Eyre Peninsula.
After nine days of riding he made it to Ceduna, on SA's Eyre Peninsula, where he stopped for a few days to rest and pick up supplies for the next leg, through to Cowell.
He said it had been a hard, but enjoyable first few days.
"It has been hard, I kept riding for nine days straight which was a shock to the system - I hadn't been training for two weeks beforehand because of lockdown and travel," Mr Quick said.
He said he had received a warm and welcome response from locals along the way, as well as honks and waves of support from vehicles on the road.
"People have been really interested in what I am doing and have also been openly sharing stories about how stroke has impacted them or their families," Mr Quick said.
"It's good to get people talking and thinking about stroke. I want them to know it can happen at any age, but it does not mean your life is over."
IN OTHER NEWS:
After riding through South Australia he will travel through Victoria to the southern-most point of mainland Australia, at Wilsons Promontory, before heading up through the eastern states and to Cape York.
Following that he will go to Western Australia to finish the journey.
After his stroke, Mr Quick spent five weeks in a coma and had to learn to talk and walk again.
"I have always set myself goals in my recovery, but this ride is by far the biggest," he said.
"It's an enormous test mentally and physically, but I'm determined to give it my best shot.
"You've only got one life so why not aim high."
As well as sharing his personal experience with stroke to raise awareness of the disease, Mr Quick is raising funds for the Stroke Foundation.
Funds raised will help the foundation deliver support programs to survivors of stroke and their families.
Stroke Foundation South Australia state manager Luke Hays applauded Mr Quick for his drive and tenacity.
"Recovery from stroke does not end when people leave hospital. It is an ongoing journey for the survivor and their families,'' Mr Hays said.
"Tommy is an incredible example of what can be achieved with hard work, determination and commitment. Not all survivors of stroke will be able to achieve what Tom has, but all gains in rehabilitation are important.
"Tommy demonstrates there is life after stroke."
Mr Quick wants to raise $1 million for the foundation and has so far reached $38,000.
"I also want to highlight stroke in young people, which is on the increase, and promote social inclusion towards people with disability," he said.
"I think we should respect everyone's abilities instead of judging."
The Stroke Foundation said that each year up to 600 Australian children suffered a stroke - one in 20 died and more than half of survivors experienced long-term impairments.
Mr Quick expects the journey to take about a year to complete.
For more on Mr Quick's journey and how you can support his fundraising for the Stroke Foundation, visit the4points.org.