TWO brothers have embarked on a punishing seven-week bike ride from Fremantle to Sydney to raise funds for service personnel and first responders suffering PTSD.
Brian and Ian Schumacher, both in their 50s, dipped their wheels in the ocean at Bathers Beach before starting the epic 4400km trip.
Funds raised from the coast-to-coast ride will be given to the charity Integra Service Dogs Australia, which provides assistance dogs to former and current serving ADF veterans and first responders with PTSD.
Brian, who has sons in the police force and army, decided to do the charity ride after the bushfires of 2019/20 put first responders under enormous pressure.
“The impact of providing vulnerable people with a support dog that gives them renewed purpose, greater confidence and unconditional support is life changing –and it saves lives,” Brian said.
Integra’s dogs are trained to become emotionally tuned to their handler and provide unconditional support through the trauma and stresses of everyday life.
It costs approximately $35,000 to train and place an assistance dog with a veteran or first responder suffering PTSD. Brian and Ian lost their sister Merilyn to suicide in 1997 after a long battle with mental illness, so the brothers have a passion for supporting mental health initiatives.
Brian rode almost 1000km from Hay NSW to Maitland NSW in January last year in support of his brother Ian, who was on the second leg of his Maitland SA to Maitland NSW ride in support of families who had lost a loved-one through suicide.
To donate to the Integra Coast-to-Coast Ride go to isda.com.au/coast-to-coast-ride/