UNSTOPPABLE: Sheva Butler has ridden 400km as part of Ride For Relay two years after having heart failure.
UNSTOPPABLE: Sheva Butler has ridden 400km as part of Ride For Relay two years after having heart failure. Claudia Williams

Heart failure to 400km ride: Teacher's effort to raise funds

TWO years ago Sheva Butler had heart failure and was having chemotherapy.

When her daughter asked to take part in the South Burnett Relay for Life honorary lap she couldn't walk through the Kingaroy hall door.

She promised her daughter in two years time she would arrive on bike with the South Burnett Ride For Relay team.

On Saturday she did just that, arriving at the Kingaroy Showgrounds on her bike having ridden 400km over five days with the team.

"The fact I had heart failure at the time and I couldn't walk anywhere meant nothing, I put a challenge in," she said.

At the time she thought it would be an 84km ride from Kilkivan to Kingaroy but even when she found out would have to ride 316km more she committed and trained hard to deliver on the promise she had made to her daughter.

"I am very, very proud of myself, and honestly, to think that rolling over in bed was a real hard effort two years ago to what I can do now... but everyone has an aspiring story," she said.

When she first started training with ride organiser Jason Wyeth she was forced to push her bike up the hills.

But, when she did the same ride on Wednesday she stayed on her bike, just like she said she would.

 

The riders and support crew of the South Burnett Ride For Rely 2019.
The riders and support crew of the South Burnett Ride For Rely 2019. Claudia Williams

The Wondai State School science and technology teacher knows every student has been cheering her along the way and wants them to take inspiration from what she has achieved.

"I have been telling all the kids at Wondai State School that if I can do anything then they can do it, you just need to put the effort in," she said.

In addition to cycling and raising $21,000 for Cancer Council the ride is also a chance to meet new people, like 79 year-old Jimmy Loyden who took part in the 400km ride through the South Burnett for the first time this year.

"I have loved every minute of it. Well, that's not true. Some days it was boiling hot with big hills and you are thinking, 'What am I doing here?'" he said.

"But it is the group, all the lovely people, we are all there for one another, and you just keep going."

 

Jimmy Loyden and Sheva Butler share a coffee during Ride For Relay' stop at Booie Hall.
Jimmy Loyden and Sheva Butler share a coffee during Ride For Relay' stop at Booie Hall. Claudia Williams

Despite his age Mr Loyden doesn't believe what he has achieved is out of the ordinary and was in tears when hearing Ms Butler's story.

"I am one of the lucky ones, I am 79 and I can still do it," he said.

"I don't consider myself special I just think that I am fortunate that I am still going, still alive, doing it, having fun and loving every minute of it."

South Burnett

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