Disease fighter finds relief on open road
HAPPINESS may not be just around the next corner for motor neurone disease sufferer Gordon Beaton, but hitting the road on his trike has certainly lifted his spirits.
Gordon and his partner of 43 years, Carmen, said they only noticed his health problems when he started to have trouble keeping his old motorcycle upright.
"He was riding a two-wheeler bike, we both were, every time we stopped he would put his foot down to hold the bike up and it would give way," Carmen said.
Last September doctors diagnosed Gordon with MND after realising he had a family history of the disease.
"With that he went downhill, he knew what he was looking at because he saw his father go through it all," Carmen said.
"We went and sold the bikes, he started going downhill and getting really depressed."
Carmen, seeing how crestfallen Gordon was, looked into their finances and started looking at trikes.
"When we went for a look at the trike and the owner pulled off the cover, Gordon's eyes lit up," she said.
MND can cause rapid degeneration and Gordon wasn't able to ride the bike for long. They listed the bike for sale on Gumtree, but before it sold, Carmen convinced him to jump on the back and see if he enjoyed riding pillion.
She took him out on the Brisbane Valley Hwy up to Esk and got the bike roaring.
"The next morning he asked me to take it out again," Carmen said.
It only took a few rides to convince Gordon (especially after Carmen opened it up) to keep the trike. They took the trike listing down and since then Gordon's mental health has seriously improved.
"He's picked up mentally since then, and the support we've been getting through NDIS and the MND Association," Carmen said.
"We just live for each day now, since he got the trike and got on the back he's gone from naught to 10."