Support Wiz who’ll be peddling from Sydney to Bendigo for SIDS and Kids

WHEN you meet Wiremu Rennie it’s easy to see why his nickname is Wiz.

In between studying outdoor education at Bendigo’s La Trobe University, working as a swimming instructor and volunteering with several community groups, including the YMCA and CFA, Wiz has found time to organise a charity bike ride to raise money for SIDS and Kids.

“When I was a kid I used to run around a lot and my parents called me The Wizzer, over the years that got shortened to The Wiz and then just Wiz,” Wiz laughed.

It seems none of that enthusiasm has been dampened in his older years.

On Saturday, Wiz plans to leave Sydney on his trusty bicycle and travel all the way back home, arriving in Bendigo 15 days later.

“It’s just over 1300 kilometres because I can’t travel on the highways,” he said.

Not bad for a young man who’s never done a long-distance ride before.

Wiz, 21, said he was inspired to raise money for SIDS, a charity which aims to save babies from sudden infant death syndrome, because of his own battle with illness.

At six weeks old Wiz was diagnosed with sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterised by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing.

“I was at the GP’s for my six-week check up and when my mum and dad carried me in I wasn’t breathing, and the GP had to resuscitate me,” he said. “I wouldn’t be alive without SIDS.

“SIDS donated a monitor to my parents so I slept with that. If I stopped breathing the alarm went off. So I’m really lucky to be alive, and part of the reason of why I am doing the ride is to show that I am still here.”

Sleep apnea is a life-long condition with no cure.

Wiz has grown out of it somewhat, but he said he was keen to raise awareness about the condition as it is a big contributor to cot death.

“I want to make parents aware of what’s happening,” he said

Wiz has already had a lot of support from the Y Service Club of Eaglehawk and a Bendigo bicycle shop which provided his road bike at half price. He said his main aim was to increase awareness but he also wanted to raise money to help SIDS with its research and support of families.

“I will dye my hair SIDS red if donations reach $500 before I go,” he said, laying the challenge down to his supporters.

To make a donation, visit www.everydayhero.com.au/wizrides.

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