Attempting to break a world record by dragging 16 cars along a runway obviously involves a lot of perspiration, but it’s just as much about inspiration, according to Aussie strongman Troy Conley, who attempted to do just that at Bankstown Airport last week as part of the fundraiser Car Pull for Kids.
Conley’s first attempt at pulling 16 brand-new Hyundais over a distance of five metres had been unfortunately halted by someone mistakenly putting their foot on the brake in one of the vehicles, an effort that left him “too gassed” to get through a second attempt, but then Conley found himself staring at Ava, who had come to watch his brave effort to raise money for kids just like her. “That third attempt only happened because Ava was there – I spent 10 minutes just looking at her, and thinking the strength kids like her have to show day in, day out, when they’re sick or injured just to keep fighting, it’s so much harder than what I was trying to do, and the least I could do was to give it one more go, and get it done” Conley explained.
The goal of Car Pull for Kids was to raise a much needed $30,000 for Hyundai Help for Kids partners, Little Wings, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia. Ava had been a typical bubbly and happy three-year-old girl, living in Western NSW when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, which was found to be in 98% of her bone marrow. Alongside the doctors and the oncology wards, her treatment was made possible at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead with Little Wings, a not-for-profit organisation that provides equal healthcare opportunities for sick children in rural NSW by providing free, professional and safe flight and ground transport services for those who need to attend hospitals in major cities.
“If the Children’s Hospital at Westmead saved our daughter’s life then Little Wings & Ronald McDonald House Charities saved our family. There is no way we would have coped without them all and for that our family will be forever grateful,” said Ava’s mum Kathy.
“That third attempt, I threw everything at it, and it was amazing, watching Ava the whole time. I was able to pull that hard for that long because of her,” said Conley. While dragging the cars more than 40cm, as he did, is a feat beyond imagining for most of us, it wasn’t quite the five metres needed to establish a Guinness World Record. “The record would have been nice, and it was an honour to kick off Global Guinness World Record Day, but it wasn’t just about the record today, it was about raising money for Hyundai Help for Kids partners, Little Wings, Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia and Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation, and about raising some awareness for them, and we did that. We’ve raised several thousand dollars already, but the GoFundMe page is still open and we’re hoping to get to $30,000.”
Little Wings CEO Clare Pearson was left blown away, and just a little bit heart sick for Troy, after watching his efforts. “It was just awesome to see him drag all those cars, wow, it was just a huge effort to see him even attempt to do that,” she said. “It was incredible to be there, to partner with Hyundai Help for Kids and to see so many people come together for the greater good. I must admit I was a little bit heartbroken for Troy, not getting the record, because I know just how much work he put into achieving it.”
You can still donate to the Car Pull for Kids GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/car-pull-for-kids.