“I’d really like people to understand what it means to go through a major illness in a rural area versus a metropolitan area.” - Shane Muldoon
“I’d really like people to understand what it means to go through a major illness in a rural area versus a metropolitan area.” - Shane Muldoon

Why Shane is trekking 1700km on a 1950s tractor

How does travelling 1700 kilometres on a 1950s vintage tractor at a top speed of 20km/hour sound?

For Walker Flat man Shane Muldoon the massive trek from his home base to Alice Springs will be a walk in the park compared to the battle he faced accessing adequate health care while living in the bush.

Mr Muldoon was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012. After his diagnosis it took the local health service in his then-home of Alice Springs nine months to arrange him an appointment with a visiting specialist.

Luckily, Mr Muldoon sought help interstate for his cancer treatment, because by the time the local service contacted him, he already had surgery and was only weeks away from starting radiation.

The situation left Mr Muldoon with a passion to raise awareness of the inequity in accessing health services in the bush.

"It's probably a crazy idea, travelling that far at 20km/h, but I'm just planning to do 100km a day, so I can stop and have a chat to people about why I'm doing it along the way," he said.

"I'd really like people to understand what it means to go through a major illness in a rural area versus a metropolitan area."

Health advocate Shane Muldoon will be riding a vintage 1951 Massey tractor from Adelaide to Alice Springs, to raise awareness of men’s health issues. Picture: Tait Schmaal
Health advocate Shane Muldoon will be riding a vintage 1951 Massey tractor from Adelaide to Alice Springs, to raise awareness of men’s health issues. Picture: Tait Schmaal

Mr Muldoon said his ultimate aim was to raise enough funds to set up a prostate cancer nurse in his former town of Alice Springs.

"Prostate cancer nurses are just like breast cancer nurses, but there are only 51 prostate cancer nurses in Australia, and none in Alice Springs," he said.

Mr Muldoon will officially launch his trek and fundraising efforts at the Day in the Paddock event at Nuriootpa on Sunday.

All funds raised through a Day in the Paddock are going to a very inventive cause that event founder Megan O'Loughlin came up with in a bid to get people out socialising.

"Go into one of three different cafes in the Barossa, mention the Day in the Paddock and we'll shout you and your mate a coffee," she said.

The participating coffee shops are Red Door in Tanunda, Hive in Angaston and Fleur Social in Nuriootpa.

paula.thompson@news.com.au



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