Dubbo’s self-titled “blind chick with the guide dog and a horse” will ride 800 kilometres next month with confidence that her late father will be cheering her on and people in Western NSW will support the fundraiser for the planned $35 million Western Cancer Centre.
Dual Paralympian, Sue-Ellen Lovett, is saddling up for her 10th long-distance ride, having already raised more than $3.1 million for charities.
The cancer survivor made a commitment to undertake another fundraising ride when her father John died from the disease in Dubbo Hospital eight years ago.
“The time is right,” she said this week before revealing the “honour” of being invited onto the centre’s board.
A dreadful drought has not dissuaded Ms Lovett from supporting the establishment of a “wellness space” at the centre, now in the planning and design phase.
“Cancer doesn’t stop because there’s a drought or a flood,” she said. Ms Lovett said the wellness space would “make a difference” to patients through massage, meditation, yoga and beautician services.
“There is going to be nothing like this cancer centre this side of the mountains,” she said.
Ms Lovett is positive about the future facility as she focuses on preparations for the ride beginning at Bunnings Dubbo on October 6 and finishing at Dubbo Turf Club on October 21.
It will also take in Geurie, Wellington, Goolma, Mudgee, Gulgong, Dunedoo, Coolah, Binnaway, Mendooran, Gilgandra, Collie, Warren, Trangie and Narromine.
On Wednesday Ms Lovett will head to a Racing NSW property to help train six former racehorses that along with hardworking “sighted guides” will join her on the ride.
Five of the horses will be sold after the ride with proceeds going to the wellness space.
On Saturday Ms Lovett will attend a race meeting in Randwick where fundraising will focus on the Challenge Ride Against Cancer.
“Racing NSW has been very supportive,” the top-level dressage competitor said.
A cocktail party on September 22 at the Castlereagh Hotel will support the fundraiser with tickets available at https://www.123tix.com.au/events/1835/ride-against-cancer.
Donations can also be left at //www.gofundme.com/the-challenge-ride-against-cancer or with Ms Lovett.