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RACE CONCLUDED 6 SEPTNEXT ROVING RACE ECUADOR - JULY 2015
Racing for a cause

Racing for a cause

 

By Simon Penn

 

As well as clocking up the kilometres, George Chmiel is clicking over the dollars for a worthwhile cause as he competes in RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010.

The Magic Foundation supports thousands of families who have children with rare growth disorders about which little is known.

George became involved with the Magic Foundation after a close friend’s daughter, Luci, was born with a pituitary condition called hypopanpit.

The rare condition means Luci’s body does not produce growth hormone, interfering with the development of her body and organs.

“Until they found the Magic Foundation they didn’t know how to treat her,” George says.

“I knew when I signed up for the Sahara race, I knew that everyone I associated with would think I was crazy, so if that’s going to generate that level of awareness, why not make it count?”

Word soon spread to other families that George was running to raise money to help Luci, now aged three, and they also got behind him.

“It’s like I have an army of families writing to me, supporting me and so now I’m not just doing it for Luci, I’m doing it for all of them,” he says.

In the past six months he has raised $85,000 and is hopeful that total will kick over $100,000 during RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010.

A website – www.luciandgeorge.com – has information about Luci, George and RacingThePlanet, including George’s blog. Donations to the Magic Foundation can be made through the website.

After finishing fifth in his first RacingThePlanet event last year in the Sahara, George had high hopes for a top 10 finish in Australia. However, a dramatic first day dashed that and he crossed the line 164th.

“I think that’s out the window (top 10), so the new goal is to make the biggest climb up the leaderboard after the first day in RacingThePlanet history,” he says.

“Yesterday I think it was just my mistake, I didn’t drink enough water and I threw up for six hours, I passed out in the bush and almost didn’t make it home. But I caught up last night and I was so much more careful today.”

George came home 13th on stage two and is set to continue his climb as the week goes on.

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