In a show of heart-warming community support, a Canberra family has generously donated their entire Christmas gift savings to the Wheels for Toby fundraiser.
In doing so they’ve helped to ensure that homeless man and double-amputee, Toby Lyndon, will soon be able to purchase a car to grant him independence.
Having lived out of his car in Canberra throughout most of 2018, Lyndon crashed his vehicle late last year.
On hearing of Toby’s plight, his friends, Noreen Vu and Jeremy Lasek, started a crowdfunding campaign called Wheels for Toby in December 2018, which at the time of publication has raised over $11,000.
In a further show of support, the Winters family from Belconnen now has their sights set on competing alongside Toby in the upcoming Proximity Canberra Triathlon Festival on Saturday 9 February.
“When we heard of Toby’s plight, having lost both his legs, writing off his car which was also his home, and then losing his possessions when his car was broken into, impacted us all as a family,” said Cathy Winters.
Ms Vu said the Winters’ contribution of $1,000 was the largest to date in their efforts to raise money for Toby to buy a car and a customised racing wheelchair to enable him to compete in triathlon at an elite level.
Toby’s ambition is to represent Australia in triathlon and he has been training hard to compete in his first event, Canberra’s Proximity Canberra Triathlon Festival on 9 February.
On Tuesday 5 February, organisers announced the event would proceed in a new ‘dryathlon’ format, due to high levels of blue green algae in Lake Burley Griffin’s central basin.
Event Director, Mark Emerton, said while it was disappointing the swim leg won’t be able to proceed due to health concerns, racing on the weekend will now revert to a duathlon (run-ride-run) format. The 200-metre swim will be replaced by a 1km run.
“We put the health and safety of our competitors as our highest priority and this isn’t the first time the National Capital Authority has been forced to close the lake, so we are always prepared to switch to Plan B,” Mr Emerton said.
While online registrations for the event closed on 6 February, people can still register at the event site on Saturday morning.